Forthcoming articles


International Journal of Services and Operations Management


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International Journal of Services and Operations Management (164 papers in press)


Regular Issues


  • Hot strip mill production planning and sequencing   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohammad Reza Yadollahpour, Behrooz ArbabShirani 
    Abstract: Production planning and sequencing in Hot Strip Mill (HSM) process consists of decision making about three important issues: assigning the orders to slabs, building up programs from the slabs, and sequencing the programs on rolling machines. In contrast to earlier investigations that mostly focus on one of these issues, a comprehensive mathematical model where considerations for both mid and short term planning horizons are simultaneously taken into account is presented to formulate the whole problem. A greedy algorithm is then presented to solve the model in a reasonable amount of time and used for planning in Mobarakeh Steel Company (MSC), the biggest steel enterprise in the Middle East. Computational experiments demonstrate that the proposed method substantially increases the productivity in MSC by decreasing the total tardiness of orders, unsupplied demands of products, setup times and optimally utilizing the lifespans of rollers.
    Keywords: Strip Mill Shop; Hot-rolling; Production planning; Sequencing; Integer Linear Programming; Heuristics.

  • Value Chain and Supply Chain: Which is more impacted by ERP systems?   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohammad Alawamleh, Loiy Bani Ismail, Randa Mazzawi 
    Abstract: Information Technology is constantly developing and becoming more and more attractive for business owners, who are looking for methods of integrating their internal processes, operation and departments together, in order to enhance their performance, improve customer satisfaction, gain competitive advantage and finally generate revenue. This created the need to develop a system called Enterprise Resource Planning that mains at providing workers with an easy access to information, with the means of integrating the business departments and processes together. However, a gap in literature was found with regards to the impact of linking ERP systems with Supply Chain and Value Chains, and this research aims at slightly filling in this gap by adopting companies as case studies to investigate and answer the research question.
    Keywords: ERP; Value Chain; Supply Chain; Enterprise Resource Planning; SC.

  • Instrument for measuring service quality and dimensions of service quality affecting image, value and trust in medical tourism area   Order a copy of this article
    by M.N. Anish, P.B. Dhanish, R. Sridharan 
    Abstract: This paper focuses on developing a measuring instrument for determining service quality in medical tourism area of Kerala. The measuring instrument MEDIPERF is developed based on SEVPERF method and data are collected from 411 international patients. Reliability and validity of the developed instrument is verified. This research considers a new dimension, role of information and communication technology for measuring service quality. Using regression analysis, it is inferred that the dimensions such as personnel quality, process of clinical care, hygiene and administrative procedures have significant influences in deciding the image of the hospital. It is also found that the dimensions such as personnel quality, process of clinical care, role of information and communication technology, hygiene and safety indicators have significant influences in deciding the value of service. The study also reveals that the dimensions affecting trust with the hospital are personnel quality, process of clinical care, hygiene and administrative procedures.
    Keywords: Medical tourism; service quality; image; value; trust.

  • Identification of Critical Success Factors in Reverse Logistics/ Analyzing The Interrelationships by Interpretive Structural Modelling   Order a copy of this article
    by Hamidreza Panjehfouladgaran, Nima Bahiraie, Rosnah Yusuff 
    Abstract: In recent decades, environmental issues became as one of the main concerns of the governments and societies. Manufacturing companies are looking for environmental-oriented operations to minimize landfills and maximizing environmental and economical profit. Reverse Logistics as one of the manufacturing methods is applying different types of approaches to recover used products and return them back to the market. However, recovered products are competing with new products in quality, quantity and value for gaining market share. Competition with new products requires identification of critical success factors in reverse logistics. However the available literature on revere logistics critical success factors is still very limited. Therefore, the aim of this paper is identification and ranking of critical success factors by interpretive structural modelling in reverse logistics. Moreover ranking of the critical success factors in reverse logistics by interpretive structural modelling is the other objective of this paper. Sixteen critical success factors are identified from the literature and ISM is determined the ranking of these criteria. Results indicate that these factors are linked because of mutual effect.
    Keywords: Supply Chain Management (SCM); Reverse Logistics (RL); Critical Success Factors (CSFs); Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM).

  • Measuring the Service Quality of Luxury Hotel Chains in the United States   Order a copy of this article
    by Hokey Min 
    Abstract: In the hospitality industry, quality of services rendered to customers determines the level of business success. To sustain and improve the high level of service quality continuously, hotel management should assess how well they have served their customers and how competitive they become as a result of continuous service improvements. Such assessment begins with the identification of key service attributes that shape up the customers perceived service quality and their impacts on the customers level of satisfaction with hotel services. In particular, to achieve total customer satisfaction and stay ahead of industry rivals, hotel management should gain the knowledge of a hotels competitive position in the dynamically changing marketplace and create the opportunity for continuous service improvement. With this in mind, this paper develops service standards that help hotel managers monitor their service delivery process, identify performance gaps, and take corrective actions. Based on the exploratory study of customers who have stayed at luxury hotels in the United States, this paper identifies key success factors for luxury hotel franchises and develops service improvement plans for practicing hotel managers.
    Keywords: hotel service quality; key success factors; competitive gap analysis; benchmarking.

  • Wood based construction project supplier selection under uncertain starting date   Order a copy of this article
    by Anjali Awasthi 
    Abstract: There is a growing interest in supply management systems
    Keywords: Housing Construction project; supplier selection; stochastic conditions; linear programming; heuristics; uncertainty.

    by Prakash N, Somasundaram R, Krishnamoorthy V 
    Abstract: The determination of this study is to examine the different dimensions of Retail Service Quality (RSQ) in the apparel retail store and its impact on Customer Loyalty. Retail apparel store customers in Tirupur, the Apparel hub of South India were surveyed by implementing the Questionnaire Method. A sample of size 250 was taken. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to inaugurate construct validity. Structural Equation Model (SEM) was used to examine the impact of different dimensions of Retail Service Quality factors with Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty. The study acknowledged the five important RSQ factors (Personal Aspects, Reliability, Personal Interaction, Policy and Problem Solving) and proved that there is a relationship between the RSQ factors and Customer Satisfaction. Moreover the study found that there is no association between RSQ factors and Customer Loyalty. The identification of these apparel retail service quality factors empowers the apparel retail store managers to proposal an effective policy regarding customers attitude towards selection of store. From this study it is inferred that there is no positive relationship between customer satisfaction and Loyalty. Most of the customers are satisfied with services of apparel stores, these satisfied customers are not loyal customers. Therefore the article recommends that the management of apparel retail stores should design effective policy to retain the customers.
    Keywords: Apparel retail Store; Customer Satisfaction; Retail Service Quality; Customer Loyalty; Structural equation model (SEM).

  • Modeling and Solving a Bi-objective Single Period Problem with Incremental and All Unit Discount within Stochastic Constraints: NSGAII and MOPSO   Order a copy of this article
    by Mahsa Najimi, Seyed Hamid Reza Pasandideh 
    Abstract: One of the perennial problem in inventory control is single-period problem which is called newsboy problem. In this paper, a single-period problem is developed. The problem is presented by a bi-objective multi-product multiple constraints to maximize the expected profit as well as minimizing the whole warehouse space. Incremental and total discount policies are considered in purchasing the items.In order to optimize the objectives, three types of constraint are presumed for each product which are the service level, budget and required warehouse space. In addition, the decision variables are real and the problem will be modelled in type of a mixed integer nonlinear programming. Moreover, meta-heuristic algorithms are utilized to solve the model. Non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II (NSGA-II) and multi-objective particle swarm optimization are proposed to find the Pareto front as near-optima solutions. To achieve better results, RSM method is applied to calibrate the flexible parameters of both algorithms. In final, t-student tests are employed to compare the performances of proposed algorithms in terms of solution qualities.
    Keywords: Inventory control; bi-objective; single-period; incremental and total discount; meta-heuristic algorithms; NSGA-II; MOPSO.

    by Amber A. Smith-Ditizio, Terry Damron, Amye Melton 
    Abstract: There are many advantages to mandating CSR policies and practices that deal with the use of energy, with much that that responsibility of promoting green-based approaches and sustainability as part of a socially responsible company on it marketing activities. It is important to identify what each organization could do to promote environmental gains directly related to the use of energy and the need to minimize the use of green-washing campaigns in order to boost companys reputation at minimal costs. Market expectations general illustrate that if an organization does not provide certain services or products in a satisfactory manner, another organization will gain business or popularity. Public awareness of energy, CSR, and eco-friendly actions at the corporate level are increasing playing a role in the global economy and empowered customers purchase intentions.
    Keywords: carbon footprint; CSR; eco-friendly; green marketing; OECD Guidelines.

  • Transfer climate and transfer of training: The mediating role of transfer intention in hospitality organizations   Order a copy of this article
    by Uma Pricilda Jaidev 
    Abstract: The extant literature on transfer of training reports that there exists a transfer problem, wherein resources spent on training in organizations do not yield acceptable returns. Based on a thorough review of literature, the present study attempts to find, if there is a relationship between 'Transfer Climate' along with its dimensions, Managerial Support; Job Support; Organizational support as predictors, and 'Transfer of Training' as the outcome variable, in a service context. 'Transfer Intention' is considered as a mediating variable. Data from a sample of 484 respondents, who belong to Hospitality organizations was taken up for analysis and subsequent interpretation. Hospitality sector is known for investing significant resources on training, in order to ensure that their employees comply with standard operating procedures, that are very essential for service organizations, in order to ensure consistency in the services provided. Results indicate that there is a positive relationship between 'transfer climate' and 'transfer of training' and that 'transfer intention' partially mediates the relationship between 'transfer climate' and 'transfer of training'. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed and suggestions are offered for future studies.
    Keywords: Transfer Climate; Transfer Intention; Transfer of Training; Hospitality; Training; Theory of Planned Behaviour; Transfer Problem; Training and Development; Human Resources Development.

  • Fixed vs. Negotiable Price; Who Wins the Market: An Evidence from Pakistan   Order a copy of this article
    by Asad Javed, Muhammad Yasir, Faisal Sajjad 
    Abstract: Price is an important P of marking which represents the amount of cost which customers have to pay. There are different ways in products are priced. Prices of some products are fixed and some are negotiable. This paper compares the effect of fixed pricing and negotiable pricing on purchase decision of locally manufactured products. The paper also compares the effect of different demographic variables on fixed and negotiable price. The results of our empirical study, conducted on locally manufactured apparels, reveal that people evaluate fixed prices more favorably as compared to negotiable price. Furthermore, it was found that demographic variables i.e. education and income affect negotiable price, and people with different levels of education and income had differences of opinion in evaluating negotiable price. However, the majority of respondents were in favor of non-negotiable/fixed price. Hence, it could be concluded from the results that if organizations shift from negotiable price to fixed price, the inclination of customers towards their products increases. This was found to be particularly true in the context of locally manufactured products where both fixed and negotiable pricing practices are prevalent. Finally, the study concludes that sellers of locally manufactured apparels in particular and fast moving consumer goods in general can significantly improve their sales volume by shifting to non-negotiable/ fixed price policy.
    Keywords: fixed price; negotiable price; demographic variables.

  • Using weather data to improve demand forecasting for seasonal products   Order a copy of this article
    by Flora Babongo, Ari-Pekka Hameri, Valerie Chavez-Demoulin, Tapio Niemi, Patrick Appelqvist 
    Abstract: In seasonal business, manufacturers need to make major supply decisions up to a year before delivering products to retailers. Traditionally, they make those decisions based on sales forecasts that in turn are based on previous seasons sales. In our research, we study whether demand forecasts for the upcoming season could be made more accurate by taking into account the weather of the previous sales season. We use a 10 year data set of winter sports equipment (e.g. skis, boots, and snowboards) sales in Switzerland and Finland, linked with daily meteorological data, for developing and training a generalized additive model (GAM) to predict demand for the next season. Results show a forecasting error reduction of up to 45% when including meteorological data from the past season. In our case, the value of this reduction in the forecasting error corresponds to around 2% of total sales. The results contribute to the theory of stochastic inventory control by showing that taking into account external disturbances, in this case the fluctuations in weather, improves forecasting accuracy in situations where the lag between ordering and demand is around one year.
    Keywords: Demand forecasting; Seasonal products; Newsvendor model; Generalized additive model.

  • Prioritizing Product Development Strategies Based on Supply Chain Flexibility Using Multiple Attribute Decision Making - The Case of Esfahan Steel Compnay   Order a copy of this article
    by Arash Shahin, Dariush Mohamadi, Mehdi Nazari 
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to determine the priorities of product development strategies with respect to its supply chain flexibility in Esfahan Steel Co. For this purpose, attributes of supply chain flexibility have been extracted from literature and investigated in Esfahan Steel Co. Their weights have been calculated using Multiple Attribute Decision Making (MADM) techniques. Finally, product development strategies have been prioritized. According to the findings, the four priorities included the production of special rolled products, the production of special alloy steel ingots, the production of wide flange beam (size 24-30) and the production of rails strategies, respectively.
    Keywords: Supply chain flexibility; Product development strategy; Multi-attribute decision making; Esfahan steel company.

  • PSO Based Harmony Search Algorithm (PSO-HSA) to Aggregate Production Planning Under Possibilistic Environment   Order a copy of this article
    by Md. Sanowar Hossain, Khan Mohaimanul Islam 
    Abstract: This paper work developed PSO based HSA, a non-traditional optimization technique to find globally optimized solutions of complex problems more efficiently than traditional techniques. The proposed technique named as Particle Swarm Optimization based Harmony Search Algorithm (PSO-HSA) is developed on the structure of HSA and a few concepts of PSO algorithm are used to modify the improvisation processes. The aim of PSO-HSA is to incorporate multiple improvisation processes as well as total utilization of all the possible solution sets in improvisation step. Again the elimination the complexity of predefinition for various algorithm parameters is also considered. At the same time this paper demonstrated possibilistic environment based multi-product, multi-period aggregate production planning. The proposed approach uses a triangular possibility distribution for handling all the imprecise operating costs, demands, and also for the capacity data. The proposed approach uses the strategy of simultaneously minimizing the most possible value of the imprecise total costs, maximizing the possibility of obtaining lower total costs and minimizing the risk of obtaining higher total costs. Here the authors also employed genetic algorithm approach for solving the APP problems and analyzed the performance and validity of the proposed PSO-HSA approach. For reinforcing & accelerating the decision making for the decision maker a case study was considered in a Ready Made garment company in Bangladesh and the problem solved by MATLAB.
    Keywords: Possibilistic Linear Programming; Imprecise Parameters; Harmony Search Algorithm; Particle Swarm Optimization; PSO Based HSA.

  • Conceptualizing the Framework for Effectiveness of Customer Value Co-Creation in Service Innovation   Order a copy of this article
    by Tejas R. Shah 
    Abstract: The involvement of customers as co-creators in new service innovation is increasingly being suggested as a successful strategy to improve the success rate of new services. Value-in-use is a central theme for the service-dominant logic because the customer is always a co-creator of value. Co-creation involves customer engagement in the creation of offerings through ideation, design and development. The objective of this paper is to develop the framework for successful development and implementation of Customer Value Co-Creation process in service innovation. Based on literature review, three phases of value co-creation have been developed. First, Motivation for customer value co-creation is one of the important aspects to consider by a service firm. Extrinsic and intrinsic motivations play a key role for customer motivation to participate. Second, customers role in value creation process have greater been developed. Customer experience during interaction becomes central to the value creation process. Customer participation in value creation process is divided into two parts: participation behavior and citizenship behavior. Third, criteria for superior value co-creation process have been developed. This research brings the framework that motivation for value co-creation creates positive impact on value co-creation process, which in turn leads to generate positive value co-creation experience.
    Keywords: value; co-creation; service innovation; co-creation experience; customer.

  • Sustainability of the Indian Auto Rickshaw Sector: Identification of Enablers and their Interrelationship using TISM   Order a copy of this article
    by Paridhi Rathi, Abhishek Behl, Ajith Kumar VV 
    Abstract: The present study is an attempt to identify the enablers to the sustainability of the auto rickshaw sector in India and model them using Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) in order to establish inter relationships among them. MatricedImpactsCroises-Multiplication Appliqu
    Keywords: Enablers; Total Interpretive Structural Model; MICMAC; Sustainable Transportation; Auto-Ricksahaw; India; Urban transportation.

  • Determinants of Female Employees Job Satisfaction in Hotels in Malaysia: An Empirical Study   Order a copy of this article
    by Shiva Hashemi, Jamil Jusoh, Azizan Marzuki, Shaian Kiumarsi 
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to identify the job satisfaction level among female employees in three, four, and five star rated hotels in Malaysia, and to examine the factors that influence the job satisfaction of female employees in the selected hotels. The method used for this research was quantitative research, with a questionnaire as an instrument for gathering primary data. The findings indicate that the most important factor in job satisfaction among female employees is working condition. The results of this quantitative study also showed that the overall job satisfaction is at a neutral level. The findings of this study provide immense benefits for the hotels in Penang Island and will enable the hotels to gain better competitive advantage to compete among the local and international hotel industries. The findings will also assist hotel organizations to know the best way to satisfy their female employees.
    Keywords: Job Satisfaction; Female Employees; Tourism; Hotel Industry.

  • A mathematical model for collecting and distributing perishable products by considering costs minimization and CO2 emissions   Order a copy of this article
    by John Willmer Escobar, Rafael Tordecilla Madera, Andrés Polo Roa, Nicolas Clavijo Buriticá 
    Abstract: This paper considers the problem of allocating vehicles to collect and distribute fruit to producer associations in Colombia. In particular, the problem seeks to determine the optimal allocation of vehicles for fruit collection minimizingboth total transportation costs and CO2 emissions. This problem has multiple objectives, and the well-known ε-constraint method has been used as solution technique for the proposed mathematical models. The efficiency of the former methodology has been tested by using a case study involving the distribution of blackberry (Rubus glaucus) by an association of producers in Cundinamarca Department, Colombia. In particular, we considered 12 different scenarios related to supply levels, route outsourcing, and collection frequency. The results show the efficiency of the proposed methodology in solving vehicle allocation problems related to collection and distribution. The case study reveals that, in general, collecting fruit three days/week yields lower costs and fewer emissions than performing collections four days/week. Furthermore, increased supply leads to greater differences between costs and emissions.
    Keywords: Andean blackberry; Low-carbon emissions; Mixed-integer programming; ε-constraint method; Supply chain optimization.

  • Analyzing interactions of agile supply chain enablers in Indian manufacturing context   Order a copy of this article
    by Bharat Singh Patel, Cherian Samuel, S.K. Sharma 
    Abstract: Agility is the ability of an organization to respond quickly against unpredictable business environment like changes in market behavior and customers demand. Supply chains need to be agile in order to survive in such a business situation. This challenge can be met with agility in-built in supply chains. Agility of the organization depends upon large number of variables. These variables can be called as Agile Supply Chain (ASC) enablers. It is important for the organization to identify these variables which can be deployed collectively to make the organization, a profit making one, in the competitive market place. Enablers of agile supply chain are the concerned technologies and methodologies which are very much significant to achieve agility. It is not economical and efficient to give same focus and attention to all agility variables. To overcome this problem Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) is used to develop a hierarchy of enablers. In the present paper, ISM is applied to derive interrelationships among agile supply chain enablers that influence supply chain agility. Further Rank Sum Weight (RSW) method is used to allocate the weights to enablers. It is seen from literature that ISM does not reveal any weight associated with enablers. An integrated approach of ISM and RSW can help to overcome this limitation. ASC enablers have been also categorized according to their driving power and dependence using MICMAC analysis.
    Keywords: Agile Supply Chain (ASC); Agile Supply Chain Enablers; Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM); Rank Sum Weight (RSW); MICMAC analysis.

  • The Unprecedented Commercialization of Indian Cricket: A Study Using Total Interpretive Structural Modeling   Order a copy of this article
    by Amay Yeravdekar, Abhishek Behl 
    Abstract: The advancements in the field of sports, especially cricket, are multidimensional. Of the various aspects of cricket, branding and commercialization are two areas that have received insufficient attention, both theoretically and empirically. The present study aims to develop a conceptual framework using Total Interpretive Structural Model to develop a hierarchy of enablers for commercialization of cricket. The research also discusses the reasons for inter linkages between the enablers. The study accounted for 11 enablers and discovered that facility given at the school or primary level is the key enabler for commercializing the game. The study also found out that state-of-art infrastructure, scholarships given to the players, and motivating incentives from the government are some of the other important enablers that could act as catalysts in enhancing the positive aspects of commercialization in the game. The study lays foundation for similar discussion for other sports and for empirically testing the formulated model.
    Keywords: Commercialization; Cricket; Enablers; Interpretive Structural Modeling; MICMAC; Total Interpretive Structural Modeling.

  • A Study on Green Supply Chain Management Practices in Indian Petroleum Industries   Order a copy of this article
    by Jinu Kurian, Seema Unnikrishnan, Bhagyashree Sawant 
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) practices and innovations done in the petroleum industrial sector of India and aims to analyse the key factors influencing the implementation of these practices. The paper is based on a survey conducted on senior executives of the petroleum industry in India. A questionnaire designed to study the various GSCM practices was administered to 42 senior executives from this sector and the responses were analysed. The findings of the study reveals that major benefits are in the form of regulatory compliance and adoption of environmentally friendly practices. Different types of technologies used as well as the mode of operations of participating firms are also discussed. The driving forces which helped the company in implementation of these practices are also reviewed. Some of the major barriers are also considered. The study also brings out the need to implement these practices as incremental improvements in the existing system.
    Keywords: Green supply chain; Petroleum industries; Green supply chain management practices and opportunities; Drivers and Barriers; Sustainability.

    by Domingos Fernandes Campos, Guido Salvi Dos Santos, Felipe Nalon Castro 
    Abstract: This study presents changes in undergraduate students' expectations of service quality, regarding 33 attributes of services provided at a private HEI, over a longitudinal investigation. The course directors did not intervene intentionally, directly or in any significant way that would alter the conditions under which the services were offered. Data collection was performed at five different times, addressing the same group of students. The assessment of the expectations shows that, over time, students undergo changes in their perceptions, although the relative importance of the attributes does not undergo a radical repositioning. Senior students tend to be more demanding than freshmen. The information obtained enables managing directors to align with emerging paradigms, and effectively direct resources for retention and loyalty, and to attract customers by meeting their expectations at different stages of interaction with the institution.
    Keywords: Higher education; Customer services quality; Service marketing; Longitudinal study; Distance learning; Brazil.

  • Application of fuzzy analytical network process for the selection of best technological innovation strategy in steel manufacturing SMEs   Order a copy of this article
    by Kiron K.R., Kannan K 
    Abstract: The success of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) depends mainly on its ability to innovate. Earlier studies revealed that among various types of innovation, technological innovation is the most important. Selection of the best alternative for improving technological innovation thus gains vital importance and it is a multi-criterion decision making (MCDM) problem. A model was developed for steel manufacturing SMEs to improve their technological innovation capability. The model employed fuzzy analytical network process (FANP) for the selection of the strategy for improving the technological innovation capability. The idea of applying FANP for the selection of best alternative to make an SME innovative is novel. By the developed model, studies were conducted in three small scale steel manufacturing enterprise. Among the four strategies, it was found that the best strategy for all the three organisations is the cooperation approach. Cooperation with other similar enterprises, co-operation with research and other technological institutions is found to be important for the SME. The result of the study is having utmost importance in framing the strategies for SMEs. It helps the decision makers of SMEs to create an organisational culture which can foster technological innovation.
    Keywords: Innovation; Innovation strategy; SME; Analytical Network Process; FANP; steel manufacturing SME.

  • House of Reverse Logistics: An Approach to Analyze the Factors Influencing Company Performance and Customer Complaint   Order a copy of this article
    by Farida Pulansari, Suparno -, Sri Gunani Partiwi 
    Abstract: This paper presents a House of Reverse Logistics (HRL). HRL is proposed as an effective design method for integrating Reverse Logistics (RL) problems and creating consumers satisfaction. HRL is explicitly addressed the translation of customer needs into reverse logistics perspective. HRL is very important because this approach successfully meets customer expectations, requirement and complaint. The complaint is signaling of customer dissatisfaction that indicates the important information directly from customers. The design of HRL was adopted from the Quality Function Deployment (QFD).
    Keywords: Reverse Logistics; Customer; Satisfaction; Complaint.

  • New Enhanced Differential Evolution Algorithms for Solving Multi-depot Vehicle Routing Problem with Multiple Pickup and Delivery Requests   Order a copy of this article
    by Siwaporn Kunnapapdeelert, Voratas Kachitvichyanukul 
    Abstract: This paper presents four new enhanced DE-based algorithms for solving multi-depot vehicle routing problem with multiple pickup and delivery requests (GVRP-MDMPDR). Two enhanced DE algorithms are based on subgrouping idea and two are based on the idea of strategy switching. The four enhanced algorithms are: subgrouping mutation differential evolution (SGMDE), subgrouping crossover differential evolution (SGCDE), switching mutation differential evolution (SWMDE), and switching crossover differential evolution (SWCDE). All enhanced algorithms are compared to the classical DE algorithm for solving GVRP-MDMPDR by using published benchmark test problems. The results show that algorithms SGMDE, SGCDE and SWCDE outperform classical DE algorithm. Furthermore, it found that the enhancement in the crossover process is more effective for improving DE performance than enhancement in the mutation process. The combination of the solution representations SD1 and SD3 with the DE-based algorithms also found new best known solutions in 25 out of 30 test problem instances.
    Keywords: Differential evolution; generalize multi-depot vehicle routing problem with multiple pickup and delivery requests; subgrouping; switching.

  • Performance measurement of the leagile supply chain   Order a copy of this article
    by R. Maharaja, S.R. Devadasan, M. Sakthivel, R. Murugesh 
    Abstract: In this paper, a model is contributed to enable the companies to measure the performance of the leagile supply chain. Leagile supply chains are incorporated with the principles of lean and agile manufacturing paradigms. An unique feature of this measurement model is that it is incorporated with the provision to accommodate the decoupling point of leagility. Decoupling point refers to the point that separates leanness and agility. In order to utilize this measurement model, responses against a questionnaire are to be gathered to measure the leagile supply chain performance of the company. The data gathered by getting those responses are substituted in a mathematical model to calculate the leagile supply chain performance index of the company. By referring to the leagile supply chain performance index, the company can strive to move towards imbibing agility for acquiring competitive strength.
    Keywords: Leagile production paradigm; lean manufacturing; agile manufacturing; supply chain management; decoupling point.

  • Development of Software Support for Process FMEA: A case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Karthik Bharathi S, S. Vinodh, Gopi N 
    Abstract: The goal of this article is to present a study in which Process Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) is applied to analyse weld failures and a Software Support is developed for Process FMEA. Process FMEA is concerned with prioritizing failure mode of the process. In order to enable effective computation and analysis with Process FMEA, a Software Support has been developed. The developed Software Support has been illustrated for weld failure analysis. The developed software support would enable the systematic computation and analysis of process related failure modes. The practical validity of the developed software support has been tested. The developed Software Support systematically prioritises and analyses the causes associated with weld failures.
    Keywords: Failure Mode and Effect Analysis; Process FMEA; Software Support ; Failure modes; Risk Priority Number; Total Quality Management; Weld failure.

  • Macro and micro logistic aspects in defining the parts-feeding policy in mixed-model assembly systems   Order a copy of this article
    by Maurizio Faccio, Mauro Gamberi, Marco Bortolini, Francesco Pilati 
    Abstract: The handling activities within mixed-model assembly systems deal with two different logistic levels of the production environment. The micro-logistic level includes movements of parts across each assembly station due to pick to assembly activities. The macro-logistic level includes movements of parts within the supermarket and to deliver the stock-keeping units to the assembly stations. The most frequently adopted part-feeding policies, i.e. kanban system and kitting system, strongly influences both logistic levels with opposite effects. The former continuously refills the assembly stations; the latter prepares and delivers kits of components for each product. Moving from kanban to kitting system the time spent at the macro-logistic level increases. On the contrary, the time spent in part handling at the micro-logistic level decreases when moving from kanban to kitting system. Effective trade-offs are encouraged. This paper analyses the two introduced part-feeding policies, including hybrid possibilities, through an operative total handling time comparison model. The findings from five industrial cases belonging to different sectors and a global simulation analysis are discussed. Conclusions about the impact of some of the most important logistic variables of the production system to the whole performances drive the industrial practitioners in the part-feeding policy selection.
    Keywords: part-feeding policy; kanban; kitting; hybrid system; assembly system; time model; just-in-time.

  • A new mathematical model for non-fixed destination multi-depot multiple traveling salesmen with time window problem   Order a copy of this article
    by Hany Seidgar, Mohammad Taher Shirafkan, Nikbakhsh Javadian 
    Abstract: Consider the problem of having a team of cooperative and autonomous vehicles to repeatedly visit a set of target locations and return back to their initial locations. This problem is known as multi depot multiple traveling salesman problems (MD-MTSP), which applies to several mobile robots applications. The non-fixed destination multi-depot multiple traveling salesmen with time window problem (MmTSPTW) is a generalization of a well-known MmTSP with considering time window for each node in a tour. The salesmen also are not forced to return to their starting depot. This problem is of great complexity and belongs to NP-complete class of problems. In this paper, a new mathematical model is proposed for MmTSPTW by considering waiting penalties and time window is defined for each depot (city). The salesmen only can service the customers within these time windows and also some penalties are considered for any deviation of start time. The objective function of problem is to minimize the total costs and penalties of the tours.
    Keywords: Multi depot multiple traveling salesmen; Time windows.

  • Automated Teller Machine(ATM) Performance Evaluation using Data Envelopment Analysis(DEA) Approach   Order a copy of this article
    by Sajjad Shokouhyar, Azadeh Karimisefat 
    Abstract: Today, banks get involved in competition era such as other organizations and try to attract new customers while retaining their own customers. Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is one of those services. ATM has changed bank services that many experts have named this change as a revolution. ATM costs such as installation, deployment and operation costs on one hand and profitability and customer satisfaction on the other hand, have lead ATM efficiency evaluation to an important subject so banks focus on that area. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is a non-parametric method measuring technical efficiency and a set of unit performance. By considering the efficiency of ATM and input oriented CCR model, this research tries to measure the efficiency of 150 installed Sepah bank ATM in Tehran based on costs and income and at the end suggests some solutions to related managers in order to improve their inefficient ATMs
    Keywords: Automated Teller Machine (ATM); Shetab Network; Shetab income; Efficiency; Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA).

  • A model to identify the Factors of Supplier Communication and Financial Availability to Support the Lean Manufacturing Implementation in Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.   Order a copy of this article
    by Ramadas. Thekkoote, Satish K.P, Aibel Mathew 
    Abstract: The aim of the research paper is to present the factors associated with supplier communication and financial availability that constitute a successful implementation of lean manufacturing within the small and medium scale enterprises. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was employed to test the model drawing on a sample of 124 small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) Kerala India. Specification search in Amos 20 was employed to find out the best theoretical model given an initial model using the following fit function criteria. Chi-square. Chi-square-df (C-df), Akaike Information criteria (AIC), Browne-Cudeck criterion (BCC), Bayes Information Criterion (BIC), chi-square divided by the degrees of freedom and significance level. Communication with supplier and financial availability with 16 elements were considered in the questionnaire .Specification search was carried out build up the model on the collected data which identified two factors with 12 key variable
    Keywords: Lean Manufacturing; Small and Medium Enterprises; Questionnaire Study; Specification Search.

  • The impact of after sale service and service quality on word of mouth, mediating role of customer satisfaction   Order a copy of this article
    by Najeeb Ullah, Mustansar Hussain Ranjha, Muhammad Rehan 
    Abstract: Abstract Purpose The purpose of the paper is to investigate the effect of after sale service and service quality on word of mouth (WOM) as well as testing the mediating role of customer satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected through a survey among telecom users in Pakistan. Two groups were sampled: customers who have experienced good or bad customer service. The hypotheses were tested by applying hierarchical regression. Findings after sale service and customer satisfaction effect on word of mouth, the customer satisfaction fully mediates between after sale service, service quality and word of mouth. Hence, after sale service and service quality has significantly positive impact on word of mouth, overall effect the quality of relationship with customers. Research limitations/implications The paper has only tested the model and hypotheses in on telecom industry. Future researcher should test the same model using different industries reflecting different customer involvement levels.Practical implications From this study, service managers can learn that investing in customer service in ongoing customer relations is the right thing to do as it is linked to customer equity through customers commitment to the firm. An understanding of the effect after sale service in satisfaction and WOM is most important to service marketing manager because it allows them to differentiate their offering critically in a way relationship with customers in long term.originality/value The impact of after sale service and service quality on word of mouth variables in ongoing relations has to the knowledge never been studied before using customer satisfaction as mediator.
    Keywords: after sale service; ASS; Services quality; SQ; customer satisfaction; CS; word of mouth; WOM; Telecom sector; TS; research project; Islamabad city; capital of Pakistan.

  • Analysis of patient flows in Elective Surgery: modelling and optimization of the hospitalization process   Order a copy of this article
    by Dario Antonelli, Giulia Bruno, Teresa Taurino 
    Abstract: Rationalizing costs while guaranteeing a good quality of service is a challenge that healthcare systems are currently facing. In elective surgery departments, as operations can be scheduled in advance, the goal is usually to maximize the utilization index of the operating theatre. Nevertheless, the optimization of a single stage of the process is pointless without an efficient management of the entire routing from income to dismissal. The paper presents Discrete Events Simulation of the actual patient flows in elective surgery exploiting the recovery logs of a hospital department. A UML Activity Diagram of the surgery process together with the collected hospital data have been used to build a stochastic model of queuing network, identify its parameters and conduct different simulated experiments in order to select the solution that best optimizes the performances of the system. The simulation results have shown that there is a large variation in waiting times in correspondence to small variations of the average value of the inter-arrival times. Therefore, solutions that optimize utilization indexes of both beds and operating theatres should consider a concurrent effort to reduce the variance of admittance processes, otherwise the waiting times will lengthen beyond acceptable limits.
    Keywords: healthcare systems; elective surgery; simulation; patient flow; Unified Modelling Language (UML).

  • Hybrid Cellular Manufacturing System Design with Cellularization Ratio: An Integrated Mixed Integer Nonlinear Programming and Discrete Event Simulation Approach   Order a copy of this article
    by Gokhan Eglimez, Bulent Erenay, Gursel Suer 
    Abstract: This study investigates hybrid cellular manufacturing system design where products with highly similar process routes are formed as manufacturing cells, and products with dissimilar routes are produced in a process layout. A cell similarity threshold, cellularization ratio (C-ratio), is proposed for product assignment to cells and process layout, and integrated into a mathematical modelling-based cell formation approach. The cell formation phase is carried out with the proposed mathematical model. Several case problems are experimented and selected cases are also studied with a newly developed simulation model where manufacturing system performance is also evaluated along with the proposed hybrid cellular manufacturing design alternatives. Results indicated that considering a C-ratio during cell formation can provide higher cell similarity thus better cell formation. The increase in the coverage levels resulted in higher number of cells formed. The proposed approach can be significantly beneficial for manufacturing design decisions where product mix and process complexity are high, and for a hybrid layout that consists of cellular plus process layouts could be implemented.
    Keywords: Cellularization ratio; stochastic cellular system; mixed integer nonlinear programming; discrete event simulation; hybrid layout; cell formation; process layout.

  • Product Assignment Using Quadratic Assignment Model in Retail   Order a copy of this article
    by Bhawesh Sah, Rohit Titiyal, Desh Deepak Bhandari 
    Abstract: This paper studies the problem of product assignment in retail. It solves the problem of assigning various products to various in-store locations so that there is increased sale as well as a better customer convenience. Retail managers often work out of intuition to place various products at various locations inside the retail store. While doing so, it is often seen that retail managers ignore the phenomenon of cross-selling. This study quantifies this problem and formulates it as a quadratic assignment problem which is solved by implementing a genetic algorithm. The resulting solution maximises cross-selling among products and at the same time improves customer convenience making it a win-win situation for everybody.
    Keywords: Quadratic Assignment Problem; Genetic Algorithm; Cross-selling; Product Assignment.

  • Managing Quality within Existing Supply Chains: Case studies from Jordan   Order a copy of this article
    by Randa Mazzawi, Mohammad Alawamleh 
    Abstract: In the globalized economy supply chains are of paramount importance to international organizations, thus supply chain management has been intensively studied throughout recent decades to understand the product cycle from the supplier to end customer and within organizations. However, there is a gap in the literature concerning the management of particular parameters such as quality within supply chains. This research investigates methods of measuring quality within existing supply chains using two companies from Jordan as case studies. Two different methodologies were applied in order to be able to conduct this research: direct observation and complete participation. It was noted that quality within the manufacturing supply chain was defined differently than in the service supply chain, thus requiring different actions to be used to measure it.
    Keywords: Supply chain; supply chain management; SCM; quality; quality tools; service; manufacturing; SERVQUAL; Fishbone diagrams.

  • Improving Organizational Process Input Factors and Company Performance   Order a copy of this article
    by Sam K. Formby, B. Dawn Medlin, Charlie Chen, Yongyi Shou, Danuvasin Charoen 
    Abstract: Enterprise environmental factors (EEFs) and organizational process assets (OPAs) are important inputs for most processes within project management knowledge areas. Lack of consideration of input of EEF and OPA factors may create stakeholder dissatisfaction, invite resistance and create chaotic changes. This study assesses the effect of three important EEF and OPA input factors (project organizational support, project control & contingency planning, and project management processes) on project baseline and planning management. In addition, we investigate how much influence that effective project baseline and planning management have on company performance. Data were collected from ninety-three certified project management professionals (PMPs) registered with the Project Management Institute (PMI) in China. A statistical analysis was conducted to assess the proposed relationships among constructs. Our findings indicated that firms that develop company-wide organizational support systems and company-wide procedures and processes for managing projects within an operations organization are better at overall performance.
    Keywords: Project Success; Project Support; Project Management Processes.

    by A.N. Balaji, S. Porselvi, N. Jawahar 
    Abstract: This paper considers the problem of scheduling batches of parts in a multi cell flexible manufacturing system (MCFMS) with sequence dependent batch setup time. The goal is to find the best sequence of batches and hence to minimize the makespan. Two mathematical models are developed namely: Batch availability model and Job availability model. As the problem is known to NP hard, Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm and Multi start Simulated Annealing (MSA) algorithm are proposed to solve the problem. The proposed algorithms are validated by testing the bench mark problem available in the literature. In addition to that, eighty problems with various sizes have been generated at random and then the performance of the proposed MSA and PSO algorithms are compared with CPLEX solver. Experimental results show that MSA provides better solution compared with PSO, same solution as CPLEX and very close to Lower bound value provided by CPLEX.
    Keywords: Flow shop scheduling; Batch availability model; Job availability model; Flexible Manufacturing System; Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm; Multi Start Simulated Annealing Algorithm.

  • Framing transformation dynamics toward service-orientation: Alternative trajectories of B2B relations   Order a copy of this article
    by Inka Lappalainen, Tiina Valjakka, Toni Ahonen, Maaria Nuutinen 
    Abstract: This article examines the dynamics of complex transformation in value creation logics in B-to-B relations. Based on the literature of servitisation, relationship marketing, and particularly the S-D logic approach, an integrative conceptual frame for structuring provider-customer interaction is built. The frame combines strategic and operational aspects and the perspectives of both parties. It is applied empirically in the multiple case study covering different industries. The results reveal the alternative and parallel trajectories in B-to-B relations of the companies, instead of the previous unidirectional transition approach of servitisation. Furthermore, relating to the topical S-D logic debate the results indicate that the transformation from G-D logic toward S-D logic has been built in as different trajectories. Thus, the conceptual frame explicates the transformation dynamics in terms of value creation logic and mutual dependency between parties. It facilitates particularly SMEs regarding relationship-specific evaluation and development, as well as strategic re-positioning and value constellations.
    Keywords: servitisation; value co-creation; Service-dominant logic; service strategy; provider-customer relationship; SME.

  • Multi-machine flow shop scheduling problems with rejection using genetic algorithm   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohammadreza Dabiri, Soroush Avakh Darestani, Bahman Naderi 
    Abstract: This work is a study on scheduling problem with rejection on a set of multi-machine in a flow-shop scheduling system. This paper will attempt to indicate Development of a Multi-machine flow- shop scheduling model considering rejection (this problem is NP-hard due to the NP-hardness of the same problem variation on a two-machine) We analyze the quality of a solution with two criteria: one is the makespan and the one is the total rejection cost. The aim of this study is to present an Approximation algorithm and three heuristic algorithms and a genetic algorithm (GA) and successfully applied to Multi-machine flow-shop scheduling model considering rejection to minimize the makespan plus total rejection cost. Several tests problems were carried out to assess the performance of the proposed algorithms. We can conclude here that the GA is the most functional algorithm, followed by the Approximation algorithm.
    Keywords: Flow-shop scheduling; Scheduling with rejection; Approximation algorithm; Genetic algorithm; Two-level chromosome.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2019.10013308
  • Application of Fuzzy QFD for improving the process sustainability characteristics: A case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Vimal Kek, Vinodh S, Jayakrishana K 
    Abstract: Sustainability is a vital concept recognized by modern manufacturing organizations. The objective of this study is to develop a methodology for enabling sustainability in manufacturing process. Few improvement proposals were identified for improving sustainability characteristics of manufacturing processes. Fuzzy Quality Function Deployment (FQFD) methodology has been used to prioritize the improvement proposals considering the requirements of sustainable process. The study involves two mappings: first between sustainable process requirements and sustainable manufacturing criteria, second between process sustainability criteria and improvements. The practical validity of the study has been ensured with the conduct of case study. DfX, energy modeling and process simulation, effluent management system, hotspot analysis and Eco- VSM were the prioritized improvement proposals considering the requirements. The current study can be extended to any type of manufacturing process, which shows the comprehensiveness of the proposed method. This adds the value to the proposed method and found to be original.
    Keywords: Sustainability; Quality Function Deployment; Fuzzy methods; Process sustainability.

  • Impact of Demographic Profile of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs on Entrepreneurial Traits and Family Stress   Order a copy of this article
    by Vasumathi Arumugam, Tamil Maran Sunderasan 
    Abstract: The Population of India is said to be 1.3 billion as per the Census. The availability of doctors for the Indian population is 7 doctors per 1000 people. The State and Central Govt. are taking measures to improve the public health care facility. The community pharmacists in this regard are in the frontline with direct interaction to community. The pharmaceutical entrepreneurs are expected to play multiple roles in the community and family which paves way to face more challenges and stress in both entrepreneurial and family life. Entrepreneurs play a vital role in improving economy of the nation. This motivates the researchers to carry a research on the impact of demographic profile on entrepreneurial traits and family stress. The researchers found that the years of experience of the entrepreneurs have significant association with decision making styles. The study also found that there is a positive correlation between income of the respondents and Machiavellianism attributes of entrepreneurs. It also proved that there is a significant variance between age of the entrepreneurs and attributes of family stress.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurs; demographic profile; family stress; Machiavellianism and decision making style.

    by Thomas John Paul, Jayanth Jacob 
    Abstract: This study employs Bagozzi's Self-Regulation processes framework to examine the inter-relationships of key antecedents and its impact on the attitudinal and behavioral loyalty of an Indian e-customer, using self-service technology (web interface) for online shopping. This study employed questionnaire survey to collect data from 403 respondents who regularly indulged in e-shopping. Our research employs partial least squares (PLS) regression analysis to test the model. The result suggest the appraisal process variables (Overall SQ and Value) for the Indian e-customer was found to have larger direct influence on the coping behavior (Loyalty) as compared to the indirect influence on customer loyalty through the emotional response path. The result also show that overall service quality is the most significant factor positively affecting customer loyalty. This finding illustrates the importance of Overall Service quality and Value as key antecedents that shape the formation of customer loyalty. Limitations and directions for future research are provided.
    Keywords: E-Commerce; Value; Familiarity; Loyalty; Satisfaction; Trust; Overall Service Quality; Bagozzi's Self-Regulation; Indian E-Retail; PLS-SEM; Formative Construct; Reflective Construct.

  • Creating value with integrated B2B solutions: an empirical study of network maintenance services   Order a copy of this article
    by Mikko Pynnonen, Mika Immonen, Jukka Hallikas 
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to analyse the structure of a network maintenance service solution and the role of intertwined service functions in creating value for customers. It is proposed that inherent in a solution are service functions highly valued by customers and connected with other service functions. These functions, which are the value drivers of the solution, are referred to in this paper as systemic service functions. It is necessary to identify these service functions in a solutions design to optimise the value of the whole solution. This study presents an empirical case analysis in the field of network maintenance services to enhance the understanding of value creation logic regarding integrated solutions. Social Network Analysis (SNA) and statistical methods will be applied to analyse a survey sample of the network service providers customer companies. The SNA approach serves to describe service function structure from a customer perspective. Regression analysis will be applied to connect the expected value of the service solutions to the expected quality attributes. The findings indicate that systemic service functions commonly relate to routine processes and are bound by a usage context in customer problem-solving domains. This research is expected to open up the structural role of systemic service functions in service solutions and supply chain integration, as well as provide the means to analyse service design and value creation systematically in solutions.
    Keywords: Value creation; integrated solutions; product–service system; social network analysis; network maintenance services.

  • An EOQ Model for Deteriorating Items with Partial Backlogging and Financial Considerations   Order a copy of this article
    by Mahsa Ghandehari, Maryam Dezhtaherian 
    Abstract: One of the important issues in the framework of supply chain is to determine the inventory control policy. In this regard, perishable goods are highly important due to their specific characteristics. In the present study, an inventory model for deteriorating items will be proposed considering constant demand, time value of money, and inflation. Deterioration begins immediately after the entrance of inventory into the warehouse. Delayed payment is allowable and degree of deterioration is fixed. Partially backlogged shortage is also considered and the purpose is to minimize total cost of the inventory system in a finite planning horizon. An exact algorithm was developed in this study for solving the problem and finally some numerical examples were presented. Sensitivity analysis was carried out on some of the important and basic parameters and the results were compared with the state where there is no partial backlogging.
    Keywords: Inventory; Deteriorating items; Partially backlogging; Inflation.

  • Literature review on Lean Healthcare implementation: assessment methods and practices   Order a copy of this article
    by Byanca Augusto, Guilherme Tortorella 
    Abstract: Results indicate that Lean Healthcare (LH) is a relatively recent research topic and the lack of further evidence impairs the benchmarking with previous studies. Therefore, this article aims to conduct a literature review on Lean Healthcare practices and the existing assessment methods to its implementation, drawing a comparative analysis between evidence found in manufacturing environments and healthcare context. The identification of practices and assessment methods was carried out through a systematic literature review in both contexts: healthcare and manufacturing. This study contributes in indicating gaps and opportunities in the current assessment methods of Lean Healthcare implementation, also considering the most frequent practices cited in the literature.
    Keywords: Lean Practices. Assessment Methods. Literature Review. Lean Healthcare.

  • An Integrated Approach for Performance Evaluation of Suppliers IN MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES   Order a copy of this article
    Abstract: Supplier selection is one of the vital activities in the supply chain and also a major challenge for any organization in the present competitive market scenario. This important strategic decision has a profound impact on the performance of any organization by affecting cost reduction, delivery, service and quality standards of the end products. Different criteria or attributes are involved in the selection and evaluation model and so supplier selection is a multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) problem. The model presented in this thesis aims at aiding the selection process and consists of three phases. In the first phase, criteria for evaluation of suppliers are selected based on literature and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is applied. The AHP is used to analyse the structure of the problem and weights of each criterion are determined. The second phase involves clustering the available data set into required number of clusters (groups) by k-means algorithm. K-means is a commonly preferred partitional clustering method which generates required number of clusters. The best cluster is selected based on the weighted sum of ratings of the elements. In the third phase, Technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) is performed on the selected cluster. Potential suppliers belonging to the best cluster are ranked according to performance. A sensitivity analysis is then carried out to determine the robustness of the model.
    Keywords: supplier selection; analytic hierarchy process; clustering; k-means; TOPSIS; sensitivity analysis.

  • Green supplier selection problem using TOPSIS extended by D numbers in Tractor Manufacturing industry   Order a copy of this article
    by Amin Mohammadi, Soroush Avakh Darestani 
    Abstract: This research aims to evaluate the suppliers by a combined decision making method with a new concept under uncertainty with d-number structure. Due to the importance of suppliers as a level of supply chain, determining factors for supplier selection decision is of key importance. Criteria in this study all are taken from the most recent articles so far. To consider the issue of environmental indicators related to this case can be considered sharp. In the existing evaluation methods, experts can propose their opinion under uncertainty only in one level. But in new proposed decision making method, experts can proposed their idea about each alternative versus criteria in multi-level simultaneously. Therefore, in this method a group D-number structure with TOPSIS as a compromised decision making method to evaluate supplier selection has been applied. Finally to clearing the proposed method, the tractor company of Tabriz is studied as a case study.
    Keywords: MCDM; SCM; TOPSIS; D-number; BELIEF Structure.

  • Selling relationship quality to increase salesperson performance at the pharmacy industry   Order a copy of this article
    by Ida Bagus Nyoman Udayana, Naili Farida, Elia Ardyan 
    Abstract: The success of salesperson performance is determined by several factors. However, the factors influencing the success are still debatable. This study involved 259 salespeople by distributing 350 questionnaires. A random sample technique was applied in the study. The collected data were analysed using: non-response bias, Amos 21.0 and Sobel test. The results of the study show that the adaptive selling doesnt have a direct effect on the salesperson performance, but it has a significant indirect positive effect on the selling relationship quality. The customer orientation and the learning orientation have a significance positive effect on the selling relationship quality and the salesperson performance. Additionally, limitations of the study and areas for future research are presented in this paper.
    Keywords: Pharmacy Industry; adaptive selling; selling relationship quality; salesperson performance; customer orientation; learning orientation.

    by Andrés Chinchilla, César Sepúlveda, Sergio Madero 
    Abstract: Because service experience quality is constructed in the interaction between two parties the customer and the employee gaining insights on the customer-employee satisfaction phenomenon in service encounters is relevant to advance the knowledge of the service experience. This research aimed to identify a model of the facilitating dynamic of customer-employee satisfaction in service encounters. A qualitative, instrumental case study approach was undertaken to develop the study, in which 15 cases were analyzed in three separate phases and different contexts to identify the common patterns and to propose a theoretical model. The findings indicate that the attitudes from the Person-Centered Approach theory of the humanistic branch of psychology empathy, acceptance, and authenticity facilitate the satisfaction of both the customer and the employee in service encounters, foregoing conditions of this facilitative dynamic and specific impacts on the customer-employee satisfaction, such as service disposition, difference in logics, communication abilities, and extrinsic motivation.
    Keywords: service encounters; person-centered approach; service experience; service attitudes; instrumental case study.

  • Causes of reluctance of Indian manufacturing SMEs in adopting Total Quality Management   Order a copy of this article
    by Jyoti Prakas Majumdar, Goutam Kumar Kundu 
    Abstract: Total Quality Management (TQM) is an effective concept for improving the cost effectiveness and organizational performance to achieve business competitiveness for all manufacturing industries, large scale to small scale. In the present scenario of competitive business environment, TQM implementation is an essential culture and key survival tool for manufacturing SMEs. TQM has been adopted by most of the large scale Indian manufacturing industries, but very few Indian manufacturing SMEs adopted TQM, though most of them have ISO 9001 certification. However, SMEs are the backbone of Indian. This study based on exploratory research, tries to identify the causes of the reluctance of Indian manufacturing SMEs in implementing TQM, by analyzing the data collected from a number of Indian manufacturing SMEs, through an extensive interview-based survey. The authors also rank those cause-factors in order of their importance and criticality. This study will definitely contribute to the manufacturing SMEs, in India and other developing countries.
    Keywords: Total Quality Management; TQM; Small and Medium Enterprises; SME; MSME; Quality Management System; QMS; ISO 9001; Quality Assurance; Manufacturing Industries; India.

  • Agility in Healthcare Services: A Systematic Literature Exploration   Order a copy of this article
    by Rojalin Patri, Suresh M 
    Abstract: The objective of this study is to present a systematic literature review of agility in health care covering the essence of published articles, limitations and future research avenues. Its contribution to the body of knowledge is twofold. First, it classifies the literature based on seven parameters: year, country, research method, results, context, limitations and future research direction to provide an overview of the accomplished research works. Second, it highlights the research gap in the current literature and provides direction for future research. In order to accomplish the objective, relevant published articles on agile implementation/ agility in healthcare accessed in databases EBSCO, Proquest and ScienceDirect have been analyzed. The findings suggest that the extant literature has not been able to obtain a strong theoretical grounding in the field, and validation of the proposed theories, models and frame work awaits future research attention. Factors that enable agile performance and concepts as a cost reduction strategy and competency for service innovations are the least explored in the literature. In addition, there is no adequate coverage of the emerging and developing economies such as India and China in the literature. Future research should venture into these lines to enrich the body of knowledge with new insights. Furthermore, generalizability has not been attained in the field which necessitates involvement of quantitative analysis and statistical validation. Apart from this, majority of the research articles have not mentioned the limitations of the study or the direction for future research. This poses a challenge for further research in this field. Thus the lack of extensive exploration of agile literature gives way to a vast area of exploration for future research.
    Keywords: Health Services; Agile Services; Agility; Health Care; Agility Literature Review.

  • Digitisation of traditional product using computer aided design technology: A case study on desiccant compressed air dryer   Order a copy of this article
    by D.T. Sunil, S.R. Devadasan, M. Vinod, K.S. Natarajan 
    Abstract: In order to face the competition, traditional manufacturing companies are required to evolve innovative products by digitising and virtually analysing them in electronic environment. Though digitisation can be carried out by making many technologies, computer aided design (CAD) is the technology that enables economical and compatible digitisation of the products. Hence, today, it is required to explore the way of digitising the traditional products by applying CAD technology. In the context of this realisation, a case study on digitising a traditional product by name desiccant compressed air dryer (DCAR) by applying CAD technology which is presented in this paper was carried out. The procedures adopted to create the CAD models of six subassemblies of DCAR and its assembly by using a CAD software package namely Creo Parametric 2.0 are described. Then the advantage of digitising the traditional products using the CAD technology is described. The article is concluded by stating that utilizing this kind of facilities that are available in CAD software packages will enable traditional manufacturing companies to become agile by quickly adding amazing features that will delight the customer.
    Keywords: Digitisation; CAD; Mass customization; Agility; Air dryer.

  • A Pay-What-You-Want Pricing Model for Restaurants   Order a copy of this article
    by Vinaysingh Chawan 
    Abstract: A new method of pricing, known as Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW) has been successfully used in many contexts in the recent past. Success stories are in restaurants, museums, music albums, software, etc. The method where the buyer selects the price, possibly a zero price, and the seller accepts it, is a bit counter intuitive. Quite surprisingly, the PWYW pricing method has been used successfully, and some businesses have adopted it for selling their goods. We study the economic rationale behind the success of the PWYW pricing method, and analyze different situations using a simple model. Results show that the PWYW pricing method can be successful when there is a large proportion of fair-minded consumers, and a lesser proportion of free-loaders. Also, though a low marginal cost is beneficial for a PWYW method, it is not necessary. Sellers can choose to use PWYW pricing with reference prices that induce, but not bind, consumers to pay an appropriate price. Also, setting a minimum threshold price alleviates the problem of free-loaders, and the PWYW pricing method can be used profitably in the long run.
    Keywords: Pay What You Want (PWYW); Pricing; Price Discrimination; Willingness to Pay; Price Discovery Mechanism.

  • Hybridizing Plant Propagation and Local Search for uncapacitated exam scheduling problems   Order a copy of this article
    by Meryem Cheraitia, Salim Haddadi, Abdellah Salhi 
    Abstract: The uncapacitated exam scheduling problem (UESP) is a well-known computationally intractable combinatorial optimization problem. It aims at assigning exams to a predefined number of periods, avoiding conflicts over the same period, and spreading exams as evenly as possible. Here, we suggest a new hybrid algorithm combining the Plant Propagation algorithm (PPA) and Local Search (LS) for it. PPA is a population-based metaheuristic that mimics the way plants propagate. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time this idea is exploited in the context of UESP. Extensive testing on the University of Toronto benchmark dataset, and comparison against a large number of new as well as well-established methods shows that this new metaheuristic is competitive and represents a substantial addition to the arsenal of tools for solving the problem.
    Keywords: Uncapacitated exam scheduling; plant propagation algorithm; local search; hybridization.

  • Predictive Maintenance Strategy to increase the Availability of Positive Displacement Pumps: A Case Study based in Ekurhuleni Base Metals in South Africa   Order a copy of this article
    by Surajit Bag, Lawrence Kau, Arie Wessels, Jan-Harm Pretorius 
    Abstract: The paper argues the use of the case research method to study predictive maintenance of positive displacement of Ekurhuleni Base Metals in Springs, Gauteng district of South Africa. The study covered detailed predictive maintenance techniques that was applied to these pumps to improve their availability and further reduced maintenance costs. The case findings were very interesting and it was observed that from the time predictive maintenance was initiated, the pumps never failed and production targets were also met successfully. Root cause and failure analysis also played an important role in finding the root cause failure of the electric motors. The results of Root cause and failure analysis proved that predictive maintenance increases the availability of positive displacement pumps. The current case study is unique in terms of providing detailed analysis and understanding of the subject matter. The results will add tremendous practical value to the maintenance teams working on a regular basis with positive displacement pumps.
    Keywords: Predictive Maintenance (PM); Positive displacement pumps; Ekurhuleni Base Metals (EBM); Root cause and failure analysis (RCFA); Failure Reporting Analysis and Corrective Analysis (FRACAS); Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS).

  • Analysing the interactions of operational issues in sustainable supply chain: A framework   Order a copy of this article
    by Pawan Kumar, Darshan Kumar, Mahesh Chand 
    Abstract: For sustainable management i.e. environmental, economic and social issues in supply chain, there is an urge need to focus on operational issues. This current research presents a new decision making framework to facilitate this on the basis of questionnaire based survey in Indian industries. Nine operational issues in sustainable supply chain management are considered in this research for analysis. Regarding this, weighted interpretive structural modelling (W-ISM) an extended version of interpretive structural modelling (ISM) has been used to find effectiveness index and to identify the strong and weak areas, to establish a relationship and to identify driving and dependence powers among operational issues in sustainable supply chain management. The results of this analysis are highly beneficial towards society, environment perspectives for industries.
    Keywords: Sustainable supply chain management; operational issues; W-ISM.

  • Mergers and Acquisitions Strategic Fit in Middle Eastern Banking: An NDEA Approach   Order a copy of this article
    by Peter Wanke, Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Henrique Correa 
    Abstract: Banking in Middle Eastern countries is well-known for its heterogeneity, small scale, and regulatory diversity. This paper presents an assessment of the strategic fit of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Middle Eastern banks. A network DEA approach is adopted to assess how several types of efficiency scores of the resulting virtually merged banks are impacted by contextual variables: global (merger), technical (learning), harmony (scope), and scale (size) efficiencies. When two banks are virtually merged in our analysis this means that the inputs and outputs of pairs of separate banks are virtually combined to test the efficiencies of the virtually merged entity, in an attempt to better understand the industry. The impact of contextual variables related to the ownership of the bank, its type, and origin is tested using a set of several robust regressions to handle dependent variables bounded between 0 and 1: Tobit, Simplex, and Beta. The results reveal that bank type, origin, and ownership impact virtual efficiency levels; however, the findings also show that harmony and scale effects have a negative impact on merged institutions due to the heterogeneity, regulatory diversity, and small scale size that prevail in the region.
    Keywords: Banks; DEA; Mergers and Acquisitions; Middle East; Network; Robust Regression Analysis.

  • Taxonomies of Airline scheduling strategies: Cross-Regional Worldwide Analysis   Order a copy of this article
    by Saleh Alkhatib, Yazan Migdadi 
    Abstract: Airlines use different scheduling strategies to manage their operations. Selecting the right scheduling strategy that fit with the airline overall strategy is an issue. In the last few years, several airline scheduling problem studies have been conducted. Most of these studies have focused on the optimization side of the problem. This study aims to identify taxonomies of airline scheduling strategies based on cross-regional airlines analytical study. Scheduling data of 360 worldwide airlines have been collected, analysed, and therefore used to explain and classify airline scheduling strategies into anticipated taxonomies. Data were collected from five regions; Africa, Arab states, Asia and Pacific, Europe, North America and South/Latin America. Standardized ratings were developed and K-Means Clustering analysis was used to develop the taxonomies of airline scheduling strategies. This study revealed that; the adopted taxonomies of airline scheduling strategies are; intercontinental, focused intercontinental, focused/selective international and focused regional scheduling strategies. The widely-adopted taxonomy is focused regional and the least adopted one is the intercontinental. These new taxonomies build the theoretical base for next research areas in airline scheduling, and help airlines to find the best scheduling strategy that fitted their regional characteristics and/or corporate and operational strategies.
    Keywords: Airlines Scheduling Strategy; Taxonomies; Cross Regional Analysis; Airline Operations; K-means Analysis.

  • Justification of Technology Innovation Implementation in Indian MSMEs using AHP   Order a copy of this article
    by Davinder Singh, J.S. Khamba, Tarun Nanda 
    Abstract: Small enterprises typically make a large contribution to manufacturing employment in poor countries. However, the developmental contribution of most of them is limited to generating subsistence employment of last resort. Hence, in the face of fast labor force growth and limited employment absorption in other sectors, developing country governments have mounted efforts to improve productivity and earnings in these firms. MSMEs constitute 80% of all enterprises globally. They contribute in providing job opportunities, act as supplier of goods and services to large organizations. MSMEs are defined by a number of factors and criteria, such as location, size, age, structure, organization, number of employees, sales volume, worth of assets, ownership through development and technology. The present study explores the significant of various factors contributing towards manufacturing performance enhancement of small firms using Analytical Hierarchy Process.
    Keywords: Technology Innovation; AHP; Manufacturing Performance; MSMEs.

  • An Integrated Conceptual Model for Achieving Global Quality Service in Healthcare Establishments   Order a copy of this article
    by Gopi D, Pal Pandi A, Rajendra Sethupathi P.V, Paranitharan K.P, Jeyathilagar D 
    Abstract: Ever rising patients expectations demand quality healthcare service from Health Care Establishments (HCEs) for its sustenance which necessitated developing of a comprehensive quality healthcare model, for measuring the performance of HCEs. So, the authors developed a model called Integrated Quality Healthcare System (IQHS). IQHS is a bundle of the various quality management systems and concepts. It consists of ten important critical factors(CFs), extracted from extant literature reviews. The result has revealed that the critical factor Hospital Culture plays an important role in quality healthcare service, based on the mean values, calculated from the views of stakeholders and customers and the remaining nine CFs should be given priority to attain excellence in healthcare service. The proposed comprehensive model may fulfill the needs of stakeholders and customers in terms of upgraded quality of service, improved healthcare environment, reduced operating cost of HCE, patient satisfaction, patient safety and employees satisfaction.
    Keywords: Healthcare establishment; Quality Management Concepts; Critical Success Factors; IQHS.

  • Reducing Rejections using Six Sigma: A case from Indian automobile component manufacturing industry   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohit Kaushik, Gaurav Chauhan, Kaliyan Mathiyazhagan, Ravindra Ojha, Mayank Kumar 
    Abstract: Quality is critical in the selection of a product as the customer demands a defect-free product. Six-sigma is a systematic approach based on datafor improvement of the process with an aim to reduce the number of defects to 3.4 parts per million opportunities. The approach has facilitated several companies to enhance the capabilities of their process and thereby improve the quality of their products and services. This paper addresses a cases study which involves the application of Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control (DMAIC) methodology of Six-sigma to reduce the rejections in a connecting rod manufacturing facility. Its implementation has resulted in the reduction of rejection from 1.75% to 0.80% over a period of one year in the manufacturing plant. Due to reduction in rejection the estimated savings is in (to) the order of 0.9 million INR per annum.
    Keywords: Six-sigma; Failure Mode and Effect Analysis; Why-Why Analysis; Single Minute Exchange of Die; Process Capability; and Measurement System Analysis; Reducing Rejections.

  • A Comparative Study of the Determinants of Business and Leisure Travelers Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction   Order a copy of this article
    by Xun Xu, Yibai Li, Allan Cheng Chieh Lu 
    Abstract: Travelers online reviews generate electronic word of mouth, which influences travelers hotel selection and customer demand. These online reviews contain an abundance of information about travelers hotel experiences, delineating their reasons for satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Using a text mining technique and latent semantic analysis, this study identifies business and leisure travelers satisfaction and dissatisfaction determinants and compares their relative importance. This study finds that determinants of business and leisure travelers satisfaction and dissatisfaction have different types and degrees of importance. Understanding specific needs and priorities of each group of customers helps hoteliers improve their performance. Hoteliers can use market segmentation strategies and electronic word of mouth to increase customer demand from specific traveler populations.
    Keywords: Customer perception; business traveler; leisure traveler; service management.

    by Habib Ullah Khan, Diaa Eldin ELSaied 
    Abstract: Far and wide, the benefits that organizations fetch because of the information technology are well known. However, this not same with all the players of the market as the healthcare domain in witnessing many such incidents, especially in developing countries. Saudi Arabias healthcare industry is one example of this situation. Though there are many initiatives being taken by various bodies to adopt integrated health system in the countries, they are not reaping the expected benefits due to the inefficient management of the implementation procedures. Thus, the present study considered the case of Magrabli Hospitals and Centers to understand the nitty-gritties of the health system implementation. Also, the factors that invigorate the process and the accrued the desired benefits are studied to suggest the prospective works. Along with the qualitative data collected through interaction with all the stakeholders, quantitative data is collected from 65 personnel who are in managerial cadre. Their opinion about the measurable dimensions (process improvement dimension, decision making dimension, financial dimension and operational dimension) is collected. The data is tested using basic descriptive analysis, correlation analysis and paired t-test. The analysis is performed using the statistical package SPSS and results are tested at 5% level of significance. The results revealed that there is much dependency among the sub-systems and they are working inter-twined to deliver the service effectively. The success attained by the implementation is apparent in the rating given to the measurable dimensions before and after the implementation as well as the significance of the results of the paired t-test. The limitations of the study are observed and necessary suggestions are provided for future researchers.
    Keywords: Healthcare Information Technology (HIT); Health Information System (HIS); Process improvement dimension (PD); decision making dimension (DD); financial dimension (FD) and operational dimension (OD).

  • Application of value stream mapping for cycle time reduction in production of link and roller assembly   Order a copy of this article
    Abstract: The advancements in manufacturing organizations are focused in the direction of reducing the cycle times, lead times and different manufacturing costs. Nowadays cycle time reduction is of paramount importance in a manufacturing industry. The customer not only emphasises on the quality of the product but also takes into consideration the timely delivery of the product. This trend has led companies to exploit lean manufacturing principles which concentrate deeply on the reduction of the cycle times. This paper proposes a framework for performance evaluation in the context of Indian manufacturing unit. The proposed framework and the developed methodology is capable of dealing with each stage of the considered manufacturing unit by maximizing the value of the product through minimization of waste. As a first step, the time required for all the processes in manufacturing of the links and rollers had been identified using time and work study. Thereafter, in the second part value stream mapping method (VSM) to determine the value added (VA) and non-value added (NVA) activities in the process. Moreover, to demonstrate the capabilities of the proposed approach, this framework is implemented for performance evaluation of production of links, rollers, and deck roller assembly of Indian manufacturing industry and some managerial insights are derived from the numerical results.
    Keywords: Lean thinking concepts; value stream mapping; cycle time.

  • Drivers of Supply Chain Transparency and its effects on Performance Measures in the Automotive Industry: Case of a Developing Country   Order a copy of this article
    by Waqar Ahmed, Muhammad Omar 
    Abstract: In this competitive era, smooth flow of Information with clarity and consistency has gain lot of importance to improve effective and timely decision making for managing logistics and distribution. This research investigates the factors which are important to augment supply chain transparency. The study further examined the impact of supply chain transparency on the various supply chain performance indicators. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) is applied through SmartPLS3.4.2 for an empirical validation of the proposed research model and to identify the factors contributing supply chain transparency (SCT) and outcomes of SCT on four performance indicators (i.e. operations, supplier, relational and technical performance). The questionnaire survey was utilized in this study. The survey was distributed to around 440 supply chain professionals associated with automotive companies in Pakistan, with 218 valid responses collected with response rate of 49.5 per cent. The result reveals that supply chain transparency has a significant positive effect on various dimensions of supply chain performance (SCP). SCT influences high on Operational performance and relational performance. It is further confirmed that strategies and factors like disintermediation (DI), formulization (FRM), supply chain coordination (SCC), supplier integration (SI) and trust (TR) contributes significantly on supply chain transparency (SCT). While FRM and SCC are the highest contributor in maintaining SCT. This paper is the enhanced framework to measure the drivers and practices that impacts supply chain transparency and also explains the relationship of SCT with the various performance dimensions in the automotive sector of developing economy. The study will be beneficial for supply chain specialists in formulating strategies to improve distribution performance through improving transparency in their multitier supply chains.
    Keywords: Supply Chain Transparency; Supply chain visibility; Disintermediation; System Integration; Trust; Formalization; Relationship; Operational; Technical and Performance; PLS SEM; Automotive sector.

  • Emigrants motivation business model for intention to participate in the Malaysia My Second Home program (MM2H)   Order a copy of this article
    by K. Jayaraman, Shin Yuin Khu, Shaian Kiumarsi 
    Abstract: In the modern days of advancement, people prefer to migrate from one country to another for change in lifestyle and better prospects in social, cultural, economic and environmental standards. A second home consideration deserves almost the same feeling of thoughts and importance as the primary residence. The Malaysian government is promoting Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program to attract more foreigners to settle down in Malaysia in order to boost the macro economy and tourism industry. The present article investigates the intention of Japanese and Indonesians towards choosing Malaysia as a second home. About 97 respondents participated in the primary survey of which 51 (52.6%) were Indonesians and 46 (47.4%) were Japanese. The respondents from both Indonesia and Japan have expressed almost similar average intention scores with moderate response to consider Malaysia as their second home. The findings of the study reveal that economic environment, social environment, political status, and retirement life were among the significant factors on the intention to consider getting a second home ownership. Surprisingly, the factors of attraction, safety and security were not found to be significant. It is understandable that only international tourists might consider destination attractiveness to be an important factor, but not second home seekers. Furthermore Malaysia is a safer country to live, compared to other ASEAN countries due to its latest sophistication and multiethnic culture.
    Keywords: Second Home; Social Environment; Attraction; Retirement Life; Safety and Security; Migration; Malays.

  • Customers perceptions and reactions in waiting lines: lessons from a contact service environment in a developing economy   Order a copy of this article
    by Alexander Appiah, Cosmos Benjamin Osei 
    Abstract: This study took interest in evaluating customers perceptions in waiting lines, measured by time wastage, neglect and boredom and their innate reactions, measured by service abandonment intentions towards satisfaction, loyalty and reuse behaviour during and after service experience. We collected data from bank customers in five regions of Ghana. 251 out of 309 questionnaires distributed were returned and found usable for data analysis. Our findings reflect the banking industry of Ghana characterized by little service differentiation and similar customer characteristics across service firms. This studys findings validate extant works on service firms focus on their specific business dimensions while relegating the customer.
    Keywords: perceptions; reactions; waiting lines; contact service; abandonment intent; satisfaction; loyalty; reuse behaviour; developing economy.

  • Application of Multi Grade Fuzzy and ANFIS approaches for performance analysis of Lean Six Sigma system with sustainable considerations   Order a copy of this article
    by Ben Ruben R, S. Vinodh, Asokan P 
    Abstract: Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a data driven world-class manufacturing strategy that aims at improving the firms competitiveness and operational performance through reduction of waste and process variation. Sustainable manufacturing aims at creation of manufactured products through economically viable processes that have minimal negative environmental impacts thus conserving natural resources and energy. In recent days, modern manufacturing firms are experiencing a paradigm shift where their core focus is to enhance their quality level with zero defects and also to improve their sustainable performance. In an aid to achieve this, manufacturing firms have started to adopt both LSS and sustainable manufacturing strategies in order to attain integrated benefits. After implementing the integrated strategies successfully, it is necessary to measure the performance of such systems to track the improvements and their sustenance. This article reports a research carried out to analyze the performance of LSS system integrated with sustainability considerations in manufacturing firms using Multi Grade Fuzzy (MGF) and Adaptive Neuro Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) approaches. During this research, a performance assessment model consisting of 6 first level dimensions and 30 Second level dimensions was designed to assess the performance of LSS with sustainability considerations. Data pertaining to the assessment was gathered from a manufacturing firm and computations were performed subsequently. The score based on MGF approach is found to be 6.74 and that of ANFIS approach is 6.51. Based on the output score of both the approaches, the case organization was found to possess Strong LSS performance with sustainability considerations. Based on the computed score, improvement actions were recommended and implemented subsequently for further improving the performance level. The study could facilitate improvement in LSS performance incorporated with sustainability aspects.
    Keywords: Lean Six Sigma; Sustainable Manufacturing; Performance Evaluation; Multi grade Fuzzy; ANFIS.

  • An optimal policy for three-tier supply chain for processing an agricultural product with a stochastic demand   Order a copy of this article
    by S. M. Shahidul Islam, Md. Abdul Hoque 
    Abstract: Processed agricultural products are very common nowadays. Control of the management cost of these products plays an important role in delivering them to customers with reasonable prices. There are a few works on controlling this management cost in the literature. However, they are limited to a two-tier supply chain (SC) consisting of a single-manufacturer and a single-retailer. This study presents an optimal policy to a three-tier SC of processing an agricultural product with a stochastic demand, consisting of a single seasonal supplier, a single manufacturer and multiple retailers. A safety stock is maintained to meet extra demand. The objective is to identify the number of shipments and the shipment sizes in a cycle to be delivered to the manufacturer and the retailers in order to minimize the chain-wide costs of ordering, setup, shipment and holding. Both the algebraic and the classical calculus methods of solution to the problem are presented. We summarize both the methods in an algorithm using parallel multiple jumps technique to obtain global optimal integral solutions to problems. They provide the same solution to each of the numerical problems studied, two of which are presented here. Managerial insight of this model is highlighted with a numerical illustration.
    Keywords: Agricultural product; inventory; lot size; stochastic demand; supply chain.

  • Leader Member Exchange (LMX) leading Service employee desired job outcomes and performance: An Indian evidence   Order a copy of this article
    by Mushtaq Siddiqi, Manvinder Tandon, Owais Ahmed 
    Abstract: Leader member exchange theory, being an emergent theory in leadership literature, has been associated with several desired job outcomes in past. However, least research is conducted regarding job outcomes like service employee satisfaction, trust and service performance particularly in an Asian context. To plug the gap, the current study examines leader member exchange in relationship with desired employee job outcomes like employee satisfaction and trust and its influence on service performance. The current study is also an endeavour to be first research study examining the relationship in Indian service industry with integration of insurance, banking and postal service organizations. The study is conducted in Kashmir region, the northern most part of India that offers valuable findings, implications and suggestions regarding betterment of leader member exchange quality, desired job outcomes and employee service performance.
    Keywords: Leader Member Exchange; Job outcomes; job satisfaction; Employee trust; Service Performance.

  • Automated banks service quality in developing economy: empirical evidences from India   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohd Sadiq, Mohd. Adil, Mohammed Naved Khan 
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine customers perceived service quality, customer satisfaction, positive word of mouth (+WOM) and problems encountered at Automated Teller Machine (ATMs) of Indian retail banks. It also attempts to propose a modified and refined Parasuramans SERVQUAL scale relevant for the Indian context as also suggests a comprehensive model for measuring automated service quality at bank ATMs. A structured questionnaire, drawn together from literature, was used to collect data from a total of 219 ATM customers. The proposed refined scale has been tested for dimensionality, reliability, and validity and the research model was tested for validation through Structural equation model (SEM) using LISREL 8.50. Research results indicate that expectations of ATM patrons in India were not being fully met. The highest gap score was observed for dimension convenience followed by tangibles. Results also show that service quality and customer satisfaction effect WOM positively and significantly while problem encountered had a negative impact on customer expectations.
    Keywords: Service quality; Bank; ATM; Automated teller machine; CFA; Confirmatory Factor Analysis; India.

  • Maximizing Manufacturers Profit in a Dual-channel Supply Chain with Disruption Risk   Order a copy of this article
    by Chieh Lee, Xun Xu, Chia-Chi Hsu 
    Abstract: With the rapid development of the e-commerce, more customer demands are generated through online sales channels. Together with traditional sales channels through retailers, the manufacturers need to implement the dual supply chain management to enhance their performance. However, both of the online and traditional sales channels might face various sources of disruption risks under the globalization and the high complexity of the supply chain network. Using a theoretical modeling approach, three industrial cases, and sensitivity analysis, we discuss the optimal pricing strategy of manufacturer in the dual channel supply chain with disruption risks. We find that the influential factors of maximizing profits of a manufacturer include its pricing strategy, product market share, disruption risk probabilities, and product distribution proportion between the online and offline channels.
    Keywords: supply chain management; dual channel; supply chain risk; pricing; disruption risk.

  • A checklist for readiness evaluation of Participants area of AACSB standards   Order a copy of this article
    by Goutam Kundu, Jyoti Majumdar 
    Abstract: This paper aims to develop a checklist by carrying out a detailed analysis of the requirements of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) standards relating to the participants area, for evaluation of implementation readiness in a business school setting. The study adopted a multi-method approach for developing the final version of the checklist. The paper presents an articulated procedure that was followed for the development of the checklist. The checklist was developed and applied over the course of systematic reviews in a business school setting. The present study has developed the checklist comprising the requirements of the standards related to the participants area only. In the near future, the authors intend to develop checklists for the remaining areas of AACSB standards. The checklist presented in this paper should be useful to the academic institutions that are planning to implement AACSB standards for accreditation or are interested in changing their current processes following AACSB standards.
    Keywords: Checklist; Accreditation; AACSB; Standard; Participants.

  • The impact of service quality in postal services: The mediating role of self-service technology   Order a copy of this article
    by Salmi Mohd Isa, Shaian Kiumarsi 
    Abstract: This research explores the adoption of self-service technologies (SST) among customer in the postal service industry, specifically in postal service in Malaysia. A structured questionnaire was designed to elicit customer responses. Data were collected from 268 respondents but only 260 were found usable for the data analysis. The responses were analysed using the VB-SEM statistical technique using Smart-PLS software towards testing the proposed model. The research findings found that responsiveness, assurance and self-service technologies have significant relationships with customer satisfaction. In terms of mediation effect of SST, only reliability was found to have a positive relationship with customer satisfaction and SST were found to partially mediate the relationship of SERVQUAL dimensions and customer satisfaction. This study contributes to literature in the postal service industry especially in Malaysia in managing their customer satisfaction. It is evident that responsiveness drives the satisfaction of customers. The SST introduced by post office in Malaysia is useful tools for customers.
    Keywords: Service Quality; Customer Satisfaction; Self-Service Technology; Postal Service.

  • The Impact of Emotional Intelligence on Work Life Balance Among the Faculty Members Performance in the Private Universities using Multivariate Analysis, Tamil Nadu, India - An Empirical Study   Order a copy of this article
    by Vasumathi Arumugam, Sagaya Mary T, Kameswara Rao P 
    Abstract: In todays competitive scenario of educational institutions, the ability to work with emotion is an vital part of any individuals skill set. The excellence in the performance of work is achieved at the cost of the personal life. Any human being expects an excellent living, it requires a balance between work life and family life becomes inevitable. Emotional Intelligence is an essential factor responsible for better performance in work and family life and it facilitate to minimize the stress. In this regard, the researchers have selected three private universities for the study to find out the impact of Emotional Intelligence on Work Life Balance among the faculty members performance in Tamil Nadu, India. The Discriminant analysis proved that there is a significant association between the universities and the determinants of EI and WLB. The conjoint analysis revealed the important attributes of EI and WLB and the best and least possible combinations for the impact of EI on WLB. The study found that the faculty members with high EI would plan their work properly which would helpful in avoiding long working hours and conducting meeting after office hours.
    Keywords: Emotional Intelligence; Work Life Balance; Life Work Balance; Conflict; Stress and Performance.

  • Element-Capacity Difference Algorithm for Optimal Bin Packing   Order a copy of this article
    by Deep Shah, Aakash A, Vimal Samsingh 
    Abstract: In this paper, we consider the NP -complete problem of 1-D bin packing. In the Bin Packing Problem, a set of numbers or elements that need to be loaded in the bins are considered. The total load of the elements in any bin must not exceed the bin size or bin capacity. These elements must be packed or loaded in the bins in such a way that there is minimum amount of space left in it, and also the number of bins to be used is minimized. We present a new algorithm, which helps in tackling the bin packing problem, by giving optimal solutions in minimum time. The currently used algorithms require the elements to be sorted before loading. Our algorithm works in a way that avoids the sorting operation before loading, giving the same best fit results.rn
    Keywords: Keywords—Bin Packing; Sorting; Optimal Solution; Element Capacity Difference.

  • Multi-Objective Assembly Line Balancing Problem Under Uncertainty using Genetic Algorithm   Order a copy of this article
    by Ferdous Sarwar 
    Abstract: This paper addresses the single-model multi-objective assembly line balancing (SALBP) problem with fuzzy processing time. A fuzzy optimization model is formulated for the problem. In the classical mathematical formulation of SALBP, the relevant data are considered deterministic. But, the data of the real world problems are imprecise, vague or uncertain, and then the input data can be only estimated as within uncertainty and this uncertainty may be represented by a fuzzy number. The concept of fuzzy numbers is introduced to treat imprecise data, such as the processing time of each task. Due to the NP-hard nature of the ALB problem, heuristics are generally used to solve real life cases. In this paper, an efficient heuristic have been proposed to solve the fuzzy multi-objective ALB problem. The proposed heuristic is Genetic Algorithm (GA) based with a special chromosome structure that is efficient to handle fuzzy job time through the evolution process. As the proposed algorithm finds out the optimum solution as a trade-off among several objectives, it outperforms the existing heuristics on several test cases. The proposed algorithm can be effectively used in the design phase of an assembly line.
    Keywords: Assembly Line Balancing; Genetic Algorithms; Multi-objective optimization; Fuzzy numbers.

  • A Study on the Supplier Selection for Outsourcing in Irans Railway   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohammad Mehdi Movahedi, Nima Saeedi, Mehdi Fathabadi 
    Abstract: In today's competitive environment, industries are more vulnerable to economic changes. To help them keep better quality, higher productivity, and low costs, it is necessary to have a right strategy. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to introduce outsourcing strategy as a tool for enhancing the organizational productivity by selecting the best supplier. Consequently, first, 30 suppliers that provide services/goods to Irans Railway were selected and the amount of products/services provided by each supplier were determined in respect to the goals set by the company. Then the most important criteria were determined for the evaluation of the suppliers of Irans railway. Following, the suppliers' efficiency degree was determined using DEA method. Finally, the suppliers were ranked through crossing efficiency matrix. The results indicate that the supplier 25 is the most efficient followed by the suppliers 2 and 4 respectively.
    Keywords: Railway; Outsourcing; Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA); Supplier Selection; Goal Programming (GP),.

  • The effect of the internet banking service quality on customer satisfaction (case study: Refah bank in Tehran)   Order a copy of this article
    by Ali Nazeri, Rahman Soofifard, Mohsen Ebrahimi, Ladan Bbayof 
    Abstract: With the advent of electronic banking services, quality of electronic services in electronic banking as a known competitive advantage has direct impact on customer satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of the internet banking service quality dimensions on customer satisfaction of Refah Bank in Tehran. Hypotheses of this study investigate the effect of features, functionality and beauty of the site, reliability, responsiveness, performance, efficiency, privacy, information security, system availability, ease of use, customers openness towards green technology and services of internet banking on bank customers satisfaction. The population of the study was all customers of Refah bank branches in Tehran in a sample of 400 people in which a standard questionnaire of 58 questions was administered among them. Hypotheses testing were done by PLS Smart structural equation modeling software. The results show that the eleven-dimensional electronic banking service quality of customer satisfaction in the study of e-banking services had a positive effect. In the meantime performance (fulfillment) factor has the greatest impact on the bank customers satisfaction.
    Keywords: quality banking services; internet banking; customer satisfaction; partial least squares method.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2019.10007840
  • Design of cellular manufacturing system for power press industry to reduce total traveling time by hybrid algorithm   Order a copy of this article
    by Manoharan Shunmugasundaram, V. Anbumalar, P. Anand, P. Sivakumar, S. Nagarajan 
    Abstract: Part family identification and Machine Cell formation are the two major steps in Cellular Manufacturing System. Cell formation is a complex process and there are several approaches for this purpose viz., Array based clustering, Agglomerative clustering, Mathematical programming, Graph partitioning, and Non traditional methods. The problem with first two approaches is that the quality of the solution is dependent of the initial part machine incidence matrix. A new algorithm for cell formation combining the techniques of array based clustering and agglomerative clustering is proposed. The above Proposed method is tested by using standard problems and compared with other method results for the same standard problems. Grouping efficiency is the most widely used measures of quality for Cellular Manufacturing Systems. The proposed algorithm is used to form manufacturing cells in a power press industry to increase productivity by reducing total travelling time.
    Keywords: Cellular layout; Array based clustering; Agglomerative clustering; Hybrid algorithm; Total traveling time.

  • Classification of the critical success factors in sustainable supply chain management using interpretive structural modeling   Order a copy of this article
    by Hadi Shirouyehzad, Marsa Ghafourian 
    Abstract: Due to the negative effects of the current way of life and industry on mankinds future, sustainable development has become one of the main factors in organizations success. One of the strategies to achieve sustainable development is sustaining the supply chain of the organization and industries. Identification of critical success factors is essential for any organization in order to achieve the organizations goals and missions. This study tried to identify critical success factors of sustainable supply chain to prioritize and determine the level of each factor. Success factors were extracted using literature review and experts opinion. Then, the interpretive structural modeling was used to determine relationships and levels of each factor. Cultural and language differences was identified as the most influential factor and information and transparency was identified as the most impressionable factor in sustaining the supply chains. In addition, the results indicate a relatively strong relationship between identified factors.
    Keywords: supply chain management (SCM); sustainability; critical success factors (SCFs); interpretive structural modeling (ISM).

  • Electronic Word-of-Mouth in the Mobile Service Sector: The Role of Service Quality and Customer Emotional Response   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohammed Alsaggaf, Kevin Lu, Xiaoying Li 
    Abstract: It is essential for mobile service providers to deliver high quality services that could attain customers positive emotions, as this will encourage them to spread positive eWOM in several platforms about the service. However, previous telecom service studies have failed to examine the impact of service quality on eWOM intention through customers emotions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of service quality on electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) via customer emotional responses as mediators in the mobile provider industry. We developed a research framework based on stimuli-organism-response (SOR) theory that helps to analyse the aspects of service quality affecting customer behavioural intention. This research adapted a questionnaire for quantitative data collection. A total of 582 surveys are analysed using structural equation modelling. There are three main findings; first, this study indicated that service quality tangibility and empathy are not associated with customer pleasure. We further found that there is a positive relationship between customer pleasure from service quality and intention to engage in online reviewing. Third, across genders, there is a significant difference in the relationship between service quality and eWOM intention via the mediation of emotional response. Accordingly, the research findings enhance our understanding of how to evaluate the relationship between service quality, customer emotional response, and eWOM.
    Keywords: Service quality; Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM); Customer emotion; Customer behaviour; Structural equation modelling (SEM).

  • Manufacturing Excellence in the Indian Automobile Industry through Sustainable Lean Manufacturing: A Case Study   Order a copy of this article
    by Naveen Kumar, Kaliyan Mathiyazhagan 
    Abstract: Sustainable Lean Manufacturing (SLM) in automobile Industry is an important pillar of survival in this competitive world. SLM has focused on profit of an organization by ensuring sustained good quality products and meeting customer demands. In a competitive era, the present study focuses on developing a practical implementation of SLM and explains its practical implementation through descriptive models drawn by the researchers. This study focuses on implementation of lean manufacturing in the automotive industry in the assembly, machining and moulding shops. It special deals with all kinds of waste (overproduction, inventory, waiting, rework, and rejection) in the industry. After analyzing the waste level, it focuses on factors important to implementing lean manufacturing and provides a draft list of factors in the areas where the industry is found to have some gaps. With the help of an earlier research model, the lean implementation Gantt chart is made following the researchers guidelines. After lean implementation, waste in industry is reduced as per the target setting; and the focus now shifts to sustainability of the implemented action. The changes added for sustainability of the system consitute guidelines so that if there is any change in organization actions, sustainability is still ensured.
    Keywords: Manufacturing excellence; Sustainable lean manufacturing; Waste; Automotive industry; Case study.

  • The Impact of Management Social Intelligence on Socio-Cultural Advertising Effectiveness (Case Study: Socio-Cultural Advertising of Isfahan City)   Order a copy of this article
    by Seyyed Fathallah Amiri Aghdaei, Hadi Teimouri, Seyed Hasan Hosseini 
    Abstract: This study was conducted to analyze the effect that social intelligence of managers could have on socio-cultural advertising effectiveness in a number of organizations engaged in socio-cultural advertising in Isfahan city. The statistical population consisted partly of the executive officers and experts in 9 selected organizations who were involved in development of socio-cultural advertising. In addition, for assessment of the socio-cultural advertising effectiveness, the citizens exposed to this advertising were addressed as well. Due to the large number of the latter group, using Cochran formula for infinite population the sample size was set at 320. For collection of the required information, two standard questionnaires, The Troms
    Keywords: socio-cultural advertising effectiveness; social intelligence; social awareness; social information processing; social skill.

  • Inventory lot-size policies for deteriorating items with expiration dates, advance payments and shortages under trade credit   Order a copy of this article
    by Tharani Subbaih, Uthayakumar R 
    Abstract: For deteriorating items with seasonal demand, it is assumed that the payment will be made to the supplier in three consignment such as a fraction ofrnacquisition cost is prepaid and the remaining cost is divided into two payments.rnThis paper provides a better bound for both vendor and buyer and also morernbenecial for both retailer and buyer which does not concern the status of thernmember . The model is derived under three dierent circumstances dependingrnon the time of occurrence of shortages, credit period and cycle time. We thenrncharacterize the optimal replenishment cycle time and optimal total cost byrnproviding the theorem and lemmas . Finally we run numerical examples tornillustrate the problem and provide some managerial insights.
    Keywords: Inventory; Prepayments; Trade credit; Maximum lifetime.

  • Identifying and evaluating cognitive factors influencing the acceptance of mobile payment services   Order a copy of this article
    by Arash Shahin, Hamze Kazemi Mahyari 
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to identify and evaluate cognitive factors influencing the acceptance of mobile payments services (MPS). For this purpose, eight cognitive factors have been identified, a conceptual framework has been developed and the construct relations have been determined. Data has been collected from 2010 Iranian students. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) has been used for data analysis. Findings imply that perceived compatibility, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, perceived risk, perceived security and trust and perceived enjoyment influenced acceptance of MPS. Perceived expressiveness and perceived trust did not influence acceptance of MPS.
    Keywords: Cognitive factors; Mobile payment service; Technology acceptance; Structural Equation Modeling.

  • Evaluation and Improvement of Service Quality in Information Technology Department of a Detergent Production Company Using the SERVQUAL Approach   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohammad Javad Ershadi, Seyed Taghi Akhavan Niaki, Razieh Sadeghee 
    Abstract: Nowadays organizations are seeking for effective ways to compete with their competitors. The information technology (IT) service is an integral parts involved in internal services, the ones usually associated with high costs. Therefore, performance appraisal of the personnel of IT department is one of the most important tasks of organization managers. In this paper, various common appraisal models used to evaluate service quality are first introduced. Then, the SERVQUAL model is selected and customized for quality evaluation of IT departments. A case study is next presented for the application of the SERVQUAL model in performance appraisal of the IT department of a detergent producer company. In addition, a gap analysis is used to investigate the weaknesses and strengths of the IT unit. To this aim, a radar chart is applied on the data obtained from questionnaires. Analyzing the results shows that the courtesy is the main influential factor in view of the customers followed by reliability, empathy, tangibility, assurance, and responsiveness, respectively. Finally, some corrective actions are proposed to improve the performance of the IT staff.
    Keywords: Service quality; Information Technology; SERVQUAL; Gap analysis.

  • Evaluation of improvement programmes in a job-shop context by simulation models   Order a copy of this article
    by Paolo Renna 
    Abstract: The continuous improvement is important to increase the companys competitiveness in today's market. The decision on the improvement programs areas is relevant to improve the enterprises performance. It is essential where to focus the investment efforts available among the different areas of the manufacturing system. In this paper, the main areas considered are: process time variability, reliability of the machines, set-up times and product defects. This paper tests the improvement programmes centralised, distributed and proposes a proportional policy by simulation models in a job shop context. The simulation experiments consider the following issues: the process time of the bottleneck, the number of bottlenecks, the degree of variation in process time, the average utilisation of the manufacturing system and the process time of the bottlenecks. The simulation results highlight how the choice of the improvement policy is not relevant when the manufacturing system has a low or high utilisation. The centralized approach leads to better results, while the proposed approach is competitive when the bottleneck may shift from one machine to another.
    Keywords: job shop; allocation of improvement programmes; continuous improvement; discrete event simulation.

  • An Empirical Study on Integrated Manufacturing System Practice in Indian Industries - A Structural Equation Modeling Approach   Order a copy of this article
    by Paranitharan K.P, Ramesh Babu T 
    Abstract: In the context of severe competition, the manufacturing organisations are looking for an appropriate system to achieve sustainable development, which has prompted to develop a suitable integrated system. The authors have developed an integrated model namely Integrated Manufacturing Business Excellence System (IMBES). This model which is a comprehensive one blended with the global manufacturing management concepts namely ISO 9000:2008 QMS, ISO 14001:2000 EMS, OHSMS 18001:2007, knowledge management, total quality management, total productivity management, Six-Sigma, lean manufacturing, agile manufacturing and sustainable manufacturing by drawing ten critical factors from the above concepts. The main objective of this paper is to study the relationship between the critical factors of IMBES and the manufacturing performance through managers perspective. The result of the empirical study revealed that the ten successful critical factors have significant positive relationship with IMBES implementation to achieve manufacturing performance excellence if practiced in a full-fledged manner.
    Keywords: Integrated Management System; IMBES; Integrated Model; Structural Equation Modeling; Manufacturing Industry.

  • The Impact of Modern Information Technology on Customer Satisfaction Considering the Mediating Role of Organizational Health   Order a copy of this article
    by Naser Moghaddasi 
    Abstract: Today, an organizations survival and continuity is based on use of information technology (IT). Without IT, using modern approaches in the organization and even competition with others would be impossible. With respect to the many developments in IT, the customers of each organization would expect more from them. The goal of current research is assessing the impact of modern IT on customer satisfaction with mediating role of organizational health. This research is categorized among the descriptive-correlational and an applied in the nature. All consumers of oil products including 267 people have been chosen. The presented model tested by use of structural equation modelling, specifically, partial least squares (PLS). Based on the hypothesis testing, ease of use, speed, accuracy, reliability and accountability as six components of modern IT have positive and meaningful impact on organizational health. Finally, the impact of organizational health on customer satisfaction confirmed. Based on these findings, it can be said that the modern technologies have positive influence on organizational health which leads to customer satisfaction. Our approach and findings have significant implications for managing customer satisfaction in the services industry.
    Keywords: modern IT; electronic services; customer satisfaction; organizational health.

  • Improvising the six row manually operated paddy seedling transplanter through value engineering   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohan M, Sundararaj G, Devadasan S.R., Murugesh R 
    Abstract: In this paper, a research in which value engineering principles were applied to improvise a six row manually operated paddy transplanter has been reported. While pursuing this research, the classical approach called value engineering job plan was followed. By following this approach, the value of six row manually operated paddy transplanter was enhanced by carrying out the activities systematically and scientifically in eight phases by using appropriate tools. On executing these phases, the cost and weight of the parts involved in manufacturing the six row manually operated paddy transplanter were reduced by 38.79 percentage and 39.93 percentage respectively.Furthermore, eight components have been removed in the newly improvised six row manually operated paddy transplanter. The outcomes of the research reported in this paper have revealed that the application of value engineering job plan has facilitated to enhance the value of the six row manually operated paddy transplanter.
    Keywords: Paddy transplanter; value engineering; creativity; idea generation; brainstorming; team building.

  • Application of Fuzzy Axiomatic Design for prioritization of sustainable manufacturing strategies for an automotive component manufacturing scenario   Order a copy of this article
    by Thirupathi RM, S. Vinodh, Priyanka Shinde 
    Abstract: Sustainable manufacturing enables automotive component manufacturing organizations to develop products with minimal environmental impact. Appropriate strategies need to be deployed to facilitate development of ecofriendly products and processes. This article presents a study in which eight sustainable manufacturing strategies were analyzed and prioritized using Fuzzy Axiomatic Design (FAD) methodology. Triangular fuzzy numbers were employed for expressing the inputs related to criteria of sustainable manufacturing, as real world experience has difficulty in measurement together. Expert team inputs were obtained and Total Information Content (TIC) values were calculated for all strategies. Strategy with least TIC value namely Auditing tools was the best alternative. The prioritized strategies were being subjected to implementation in the case organization. Effectiveness verification of the implementation need to be carried out after a defined period by the organization through actual measurement.
    Keywords: Sustainability; Sustainable Manufacturing; Fuzzy Axiomatic Design; Triangular Fuzzy Numbers; Strategy; Automotive industry.

  • Linkages of QMS and Soft EMS: Perceptions of Operations Managers as Modelled by SEM   Order a copy of this article
    by Amjad Khalili, Md Yusof Ismail, A.N.Mustafizul Karim, Mohd Radzi Che Daud 
    Abstract: Empirical studies in the contemporary Operations Management (OM) literature are found to be inadequate to explore whether the ISO management standards specifically, Quality Management System (QMS) and Environmental Management System (EMS) are integrated together in the same enterprise or not. This paper aims at investigating the linkages among the QMS and Soft dimension of Environmental Management System (SEMS) and establishing their associative relationships. In this context a conceptual model is initially developed and subsequently examined in the Malaysian manufacturing industries in an empirical manner. The primary data, gathered from a sample of 329 Malaysian industries through a structured questionnaire, were analyzed using techniques from both SPSS 22 and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Both Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) were utilized from SPSS 22 and AMOS 22 respectively. Findings show that the postulated hypothesis is both statistically and practically significant. Hence, the hypothesis is supported which reflects that both the ISO standards (QMS and Soft EMS) can be integrated together in the same enterprise, and reiterates provisions for manufacturers to endure practicing these management standards to sustain their operations
    Keywords: QMS; Soft EMS; AMOS; integration; Malaysia.

  • A conceptual framework for the assessment of sustainability indicators using IF-THEN rules approach: A case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Jayakrishna Kandasamy, Vinodh Sekar, Vimal KEK 
    Abstract: Emerging business distinguish sustainability as an imperative concept for continued existence in the competitive world. Sustainability is the critical intersection between factors like manufacturing and product design practices and environmental issues and concerns. Being clear about the organizations purpose and taking into deliberation, the needs of all the organizations stakeholders, consumers, human resources, business associates, governments, local communities and the public is important for achieving sustainable development. The objective of this study is to assess the extent of environmental, economic and social indicators prevailing in the case organization using a comprehensive framework. A refined comprehensive model for encompassing sustainability indicators was developed. IF-THEN rules approach was used to evaluate the current sustainability level of an Indian automotive component manufacturing organization. The implementation disclosed that the organization is sustainable to an extent of 60 percent. The article also exemplifies the gaps and proposals for the improvement of the sustainability level. The recognized proposals were subjected to implementation in the case organization.
    Keywords: Sustainable development. Sustainability indicators. Sustainability assessment. IF-THEN approach. Composite sustainability index.Fuzzy methodrn.

  • Collaboration Impact on Social Well-being for Business Sustainability: A Case Study of a Malaysian Water Treatment SME Company   Order a copy of this article
    by H.M. Belal, Siti Norezam Othman, Mohamad Faizal Ahmad Zaidi, Kunio Shirahada 
    Abstract: The significance of sustainability in present-day business is a critical issue. Companies realized that there is a critical need to sustain in global business competition and this depends upon demographic, social, and economic contexts. Many organizations, both in developed and developing economies, are trying to add customer-value solutions by adding the service concept onto their core product with the aim of gaining competitive advantage, which is known as servitization. However, there is a debate that adapting servitization in a product-based company is not always favorable for business sustainability, due to its resources and time-based requirements as well as increasing operational cost. In view of that practical issue, companies need to integrate more of the service concept into their offerings, including service solutions that can enhance social conditions and recipient aspects. Addressing social issues while transforming its well-being service solutions successfully is an arduous task as strategic collaboration and action with appropriate partners are required, of which can be extended to the local government agencies as well. This study demonstrated how collaboration advances the manufacturing-based industry to transform its business structure as a social service-oriented and well-being solution, thereby being able to sustain its business vis-
    Keywords: Service; well-being solution; SMEs; corporate collaboration; water management; sustainability.

  • Exploring Consumer Power Triggers in Retail and Service Settings   Order a copy of this article
    by Apiradee Wongkitrungrueng 
    Abstract: This paper explores service elements that influence consumers sense of power, which is known to affect consumers attitudes, feelings, and behavioural approach/inhibition. A critical incident technique is used to collect data about shoppers experiences. The findings indicate that a consumers sense of power manifests as freedom, respect, and control and can be induced by a consumers own resources as well as the characteristics and behaviours of store atmospherics (design and social factors) and the service protocols guided by the service policy. Understanding power triggers has potential implications for designing and managing service elements to ensure consumer satisfaction with in-store services.
    Keywords: power; control; atmospherics; salesperson behaviours; other customers; service settings.

  • Organizational management through performance indicators   Order a copy of this article
    by Liane Mahlmann Kipper, Elpidio Oscar Benitez Nara, Julio Cesar Mairesse Siluk, Cristian Caurio, Andre Luiz Emmel Da Silva, Juliana Ipê Da Silva 
    Abstract: The performance indicators are essential for showing with clear measures the company's performance, according to the information needs exposed by the administration, however is a need to move forward in the process to promote the strategic alignment and prepare them for implementation of the strategy. This research aims to propose a method of support for the improvement of management of companies through the integration of processes with the strategic guidelines. The method was developed from the combination of a strategic management methodology based on performance indicators and process management. The results with the partial application of the method were satisfactory because they show that it extends the vision of the manager and approaches the operational and the strategy. This contributes not only in the case of the organization analyzed, but also for companies from other areas of activity, in order to perform a more effective and competitive management.
    Keywords: Strategy; Measurement of performance; Business Process Management (BPM); Performance Indicators; Balanced Scorecard (BSC); Strategy management.

  • Examining the Service Value Chain of Hypermarket Retail Brand Value in Malaysia   Order a copy of this article
    by Hasliza Hassan, Muhammad Sabbir Rahman, Abu Bakar Sade 
    Abstract: Understanding the behaviour of shoppers in hypermarket retailing has become crucial to discover the new potential to enhance the existing shopping experience. This research focuses on how the hypermarket retail brand value is built through the available service facilities by looking at the experience of shoppers and brand personality through a quantitative cross-sectional study. Based on structural equation modeling analysis, it is found that the shopping experience can be stimulated based on the available hypermarket services that are available in the hypermarket. This, indirectly, can also enhance the overall brand personality and brand value of the hypermarket retail brand. The key factor in developing hypermarket brand value is emphasizing the service facilities that are provided in the hypermarket. The strength of the basics and the enhancement of the service facilities will influence the positive shopping experience and brand personality, which will provide a high return for the brand value. The findings are expected to provide insights for researchers and practitioners concerning the service value chain of hypermarket retail brand value.
    Keywords: experience; hypermarket; personality; retail; shopping; value.

  • Towards the criteria to product-service system: new challenges and contributions   Order a copy of this article
    by Daniel Battaglia, Miriam Borchardt, Giancarlo Medeiros Pereira 
    Abstract: This research analyzes which criteria were considered by the firms when offering a PSS and how these criteria contribute on the business processes and relationships. The research procedures include the identification of the PSS criteria, an academic validation carried out in conjunction with researchers on this field as well as being discussed the results. To literature review, the databases of Scopus, ScienceDirect, CIRP Annals, and Procedia CIRP were used. The study indicates that the incorporation of the product-service culture contributes toward the improvement of the services offered by the companies. The existence of a more effective process integration can be of vital importance to ensure a full PSS delivery. The suitability of the internal processes and the structure go hand in hand with the relationships developed with the business partners for a better adjustment of the market offering. Sustainability invariably results in a more proactive management. The study makes a preliminary reflection on the contribution that PSS criteria brings to the management of businesses and opens up new perspectives and challenges.
    Keywords: Servitization; product-service system; PSS criteria; offering; development; contributions; barriers; challenges; process; relationships.

  • A Neural Networks Model for Green Supplier Selection   Order a copy of this article
    by Hansa Lysander Manohar, Ganesh Kumar Ramesh 
    Abstract: There have been studies on supplier selection in the past. But organizations today are also interested in evaluating their suppliers on green and sustainability criteria. With increasing awareness of green and sustainable processes and products, there is pressure on the organizations to select only green suppliers for their operations. While this is a step towards more responsible organizations, managing the suppliers of an organization becomes an important task. This clearly warrants a structured approach for evaluation of suppliers on green and sustainability criteria. This paper models the relationship between these criteria and the supplier selection. A Neural Networks model is used for analysis of the data obtained from samples in the Indian Automotive industry. MATLAB is used for analysis of the Neural Networks model. This model captures any non-linear relationship between the inputs and performs better compared to many other techniques. The output of the Neural Networks model is used for rating a supplier and hence to arrive at a decision. This model is helpful for managers as it acts as an objective assessment criterion for suppliers.
    Keywords: Green Supplier Selection; Sustainability; Green Supply Chain Management; Feedforward Neural Networks,MATLAB.

  • Waste Management by application of quality control tools in the manufacturing Industry- A case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Deepinder Singh, Jagdeep Singh, Harwinder Singh 
    Abstract: Waste Management (WM) is a multi-disciplinary activity involving engineering principles, economics, urban and regional planning, management techniques and social sciences, to minimize the overall wastivity of the system under consideration. This study attempts to improve the performance of magnetic particle inspection machines, remove fire hazardous and reduce the use of kerosene oil using application of root cause analysis through quality control tools in manufacturing Industry. With implementation of tools modified action resources are improved which leads to continuous improvements in productivity and product quality in the organisation.
    Keywords: Waste Management; magnetic particle inspection machines and quality control tools.

  • Supply Chain Management in the Services Industry: A Study from a Middle-Eastern Country   Order a copy of this article
    by Arthur De Souza, Abubaker Haddud 
    Abstract: This paper examines how operations from services providers are nowadays positioned regarding the effective management of service supply chains by assessing the existence of process for selection of strategic suppliers, model of services contract most utilized with suppliers and customers, common practices applied to the management of services demand, and how the discipline of supply chain management is currently understood by local practitioners from the services sector. The primary data was collected through the use of an online survey applied along leaders and managers from services organizations operating in the marketplace of a Middle-Eastern country. The results revealed that the participated professionals from the services sector demonstrated a very good understanding of the concept of supply chain and how improvements can be obtained in the level of competitive advantage. Such improvements are gained by applying the best practices from SCM to the development of services level and business performance through an effective management of the demand and supply; however, the understanding of the concept of SCM is still narrow and not so clear for the majority of surveyed practitioners within the services sector. Fixed price contract remains the most utilized model of contract with customer and strategic suppliers. Although best practices for demand management were recognized by local practitioners; outsourcing and vendor management inventory practices are not yet effectively explored by local services provides. A contribution to the academic body of knowledge in the field of Operations and Supply Chain Management has been achieved by the results from this study. This is achieved through the development of a better comprehension of how the concept of supply chain management is understood by local practitioners and to what extent some of the best practices are currently applied within operations of services organizations to the management of local product-service supply chains and an effective provision of maintenance and repair services.
    Keywords: Supply chain management; product-service supply chain; services providers; practices; models; Middle East.

  • Carsharing customer demand forecasting using causal, time series and neural network methods: A case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Anjali Awasthi 
    Abstract: Carsharing services are becoming popular in recent times. Deploying right number of fleet at stations is a critical component in assuring high quality service for customers. This can be done efficiently if customer demand is predictable or known in advance. In this paper, we address the problem of customer demand forecasting for improving carsharing operations. Three categories of methods namely causal (regression forecast, regression forecast with seasonality adjustments), time series (exponential smoothing, moving average) and neural networks are evaluated for forecasting customer demand. An application of the proposed methods on demand data from a carsharing organization called Communauto is provided. The results of our study show that neural network is the best method in this prediction. The proposed work has strong practical applicability. Having an accurate forecast of the customers demands in different times of the year can help increase customer satisfaction and reach business performance targets. Especially if electric vehicles are used in carsharing companies, since they require special infrastructures.
    Keywords: Demand forecasting; carsharing; regression; exponential smoothing; moving average; neural networks.

  • Impact of Consumer Education and Knowledge on Purchase Intentions within Services Industry: A Study of Symbiotic Analysis in Mexico   Order a copy of this article
    by Rajagopal , Ananya Rajagopal 
    Abstract: This study is carried out in Mexico with an objective to analyse empirically the role of education in a transforming services marketing strategies of the firms. The study is carried on in Mexico through pragmatic investigation among the consumers subscribing to the communication and entertainment services. The analysis of primary data is developed around the theory of action that demonstrates the skills and confidence of individuals or groups towards making decision in acquiring or hiring services to improve their quality of life. The results of the study reveal that knowledge acquired on the services and value perceived by the consumers play key role in determining the intentions to purchases services. This study meticulously rows several arguments on how consumers with high level of education scrutinize the benefits offered by the firms marketing their communication and entertainment services, and build their value propositions on the services bought or contracted.
    Keywords: Consumer knowledge; purchase intention; consumer behaviour; operational efficiency; services marketing; Mexico.

  • Healthcare Relational Coordination: A Review on Parameter Selection for Modified High Performance Work Practices   Order a copy of this article
    by Kamatchi Thirupathi, Palaniappan PL.K.P. 
    Abstract: Top 25 global supply chains emphasize the role of Supply Chain Management Professionals and the Relational Coordination (RC) which known as the vital element for success. RC is essential for manufacturing and service supply chains the invisible bonding element. It involves several stages of the supply chain such as sourcing and procurement, managing operations and all logistics management activities. Importantly, it also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, suppliers, intermediaries, third party service providers and customers. RC captures the relational dynamics of coordinating work. RC offers a flexible and measurable network concept of teamwork based on roles and is associated with a wide range of performance outcomes and embedded in a model of organizational performance. Research findings suggest that the strength of relational coordination ties among participants in a work process depends on several parameters such as quality, efficiency, client engagement and workforce engagement. Typically, healthcare service operations deals with humans and success of technical part depends on several care parameters that result in increased quality, improved clinical outcomes, shorter length of stay, improved patient satisfaction, patient engagement, staff satisfaction and staff resilience. The open research question is how to select influencing parameters when the health care service provider uses relational coordination to achieve the above end results. To address this query, we carry out a systematic literature review using past studies during last ten years, i.e. from 2006 to 2016 to identify vital relational coordination parameters. Using relevant studies this paper clusters health care parameters and develop propositions relating parameters with the desired objectives of the health care service provider. This study is useful for health care service supply chains professional to select suitable relational coordination parameters according to their desired outcome.
    Keywords: Relational Coordination; Supply chain; Healthcare Parameters.

  • Modelling the drilling crew induced process disruption factors using an ISM MICMAC approach   Order a copy of this article
    by Gowri Rajagopal, Raju Ramasamy 
    Abstract: Process disruption is a damaging situation in the petroleum sector as the industry involves heavy investments. In petroleum drilling operations, process disruption is inevitable mainly due to the many risks involved. The drilling crew related risk is one such potential cause of process disruption. In this paper, various drilling crew induced issues were identified through literature survey and expert discussion. The identified issues are categorised under respective Crew Induced Process Disruption Factors. These disruption factors are analyzed for their potential to disrupt the process, using Interpretive Structural Modelling framework. Based on the driving and dependent potential of individual factors, they are clustered under Autonomous, Dependent, Linkage and Independent risk factors with the help of MICMAC approach. The analysis shows that Psychological, Physiological and Cognitive risk factors have a high driving potential for process disruption, whereas Leadership, Technical prudence and Interpersonal-relation factors have low driving potential and depend on other three factors to disrupt the process. The findings of the study could give valuable insights to rig managers, supervisors and decision makers in analyzing their drilling crew and developing effective protocols and policies to enhance the crew climate and reducing Crew induced process disruption.
    Keywords: CIPDFs; Disruption Factors; Drilling Crew; Interpretive Structural Modelling; Leadership; MICMAC analysis; Process Disruption.

  • An effective model and algorithm for two-stage assembly flow shop problems   Order a copy of this article
    by Bahman Naderi, Mina Mahabadpour, Mohammad Mohammadi 
    Abstract: The assembly scheduling has been recently become an active field of research. Among different assembly problems, the flow shop one is the most active one. A mathematical model and some algorithms are already developed for this problem. Yet, both available model and algorithms are unfortunately ineffective. Therefore, we have been thinking of developing an improved mathematical model as well as a new powerful algorithm for the problem. The model is in form of mixed integer linear programming model and the algorithm is a novel teaching-learning based optimization algorithm. The proposed model and algorithm are evaluated by comparing with available model and algorithms for performance. All the experiments show the superiority of the proposed research materials.
    Keywords: Two-stage assembly flow shop scheduling; mixed integer linear programming; teaching-learning algorithm.

  • Work life balance of Women Labors in Tannery Industry- A Comparative Empirical Study   Order a copy of this article
    by Prithi S, Vasumathi Arumugam 
    Abstract: Work life imbalance is a common issue faced by every working woman in any organization with varied demographic profile such as educational level, job position, income and experience. Each working woman faces many challenges and juggles between the responsibilities for bringing a balance between work and family. The dissimilarity among them was the work, domestic environments and people around them. Many literatures pointed out the issues and challenges faced by a working woman, tussles to fulfill their responsibilities in both work and life. Support provided by the organization or the family members will be helpful for them in facing everyday challenges at minimum level. Due to heavy work pressure, many working women were unable to spend time for personal and family commitments which leads to conflicts in work and family life. By considering the work life balance issues faced by women employees in the world, the comparative study was conducted to find the work life balance of women labors in tannery industry in two districts of Tamil Nadu. The well-structured questionnaire distributed to 50 women labors in each Region. The findings obtained from the data analysis by using statistical techniques such as Correlation analysis, Chi-square test and ANOVA. Interested findings obtained from the constructs analysis of the marital status and conflicts faced by them in the work and family life.
    Keywords: Challenges; juggles; responsibilities; work pressure and work life balance.

  • Lean strategies to overcome low volume and high variety for enhanced delivery performance   Order a copy of this article
    by Ramachandran G.M 
    Abstract: Global competition have made customers to pick and choose application specific customized products or services. At situations the market demands low volume and high variety products (LVHV). Lean manufacturing (LM) methodology is growing in parallel in this era, as it reduces and or eliminate waste and strengthens firms competitiveness. It is seen that in mass and batch production firms, the results of lean were significant but when applied to LVHV, the results were limited. This paper reviews the various challenges that are involved in LVHV product manufacturing firm and detailed analysis performed in supply chain delivery performance that is on time receipt of material (OTR). This paper considered real time data of industrial valve manufacturing company that produces LVHV products. Analysis is performed on the firms product level sales volume and variety then component level purchase data analyzed for firms order lead time and supplier delivery time to conclude that restructuring is required in the firms operations towards improving the order lead time for LVHV components procurement through suitable lean strategies.
    Keywords: Low volume and high variety; Lean manufacturing; supply chain; purchase; on time receipt; delivery performance.

  • Womens Emotional Intelligence and Power Structure in Family(Case Study: School Teachers of Khoy City)   Order a copy of this article
    by Seyed Hasan Hosseini, Yaser Sayadi, Mahdi Samimi, Ali Darikandeh 
    Abstract: Present study explores the relationship between emotional intelligence and power structure in family sphere of the female school teachers in the Khoy city. Emotional intelligence is measured by five core skills of self-awareness, self-management, self-motivation, social-awareness, and relationship management in the EQ model of Bradberry and Greaves (2007). The required data was collected using a researcher-made questionnaire designed based on the existing research literature which after being verified for content validation, construct, and internal consistency was distributed among 291 respondents chosen from among the target population with a total size of 1200 women teachers within Khoy city. Data analysis using structural equation modeling (path analysis) in LISREL environment indicated a statistically significant inverse association between womens emotional intelligence and power structure in family of the teachers in Khoy city, confirming the research main hypothesis at 95 percent confidence interval. That is to say, the more collaborative the power structure tend to be, the higher the emotional intelligence of women becomes. In addition, according to the obtained results from test of the sub-hypotheses, the dimensions self-awareness, self-management, and relationship management were significantly associated with power structure in family life of the school teachers.
    Keywords: power structure; emotional intelligence; family; School Teachers.

  • Case Study of SAP Implementation in a Corporation Network Plant   Order a copy of this article
    by David L. Olson, Zach Bochek 
    Abstract: Firms face the challenge of integrating systems under an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that allows a company to analyze and utilize live data to manage product, people, and operating strategies. ERPs can leverage these resources to operate with the best cost and lowest inventory, better matching supply with demand. Many times ERPs are adopted seeking benefits without due consideration on the costs of implementation. This case highlights these implementation costs for a single plant in an international company network to provide insight into the challenges faced. Findings are that in this global organization, there was a strong tendency for upper levels to impose BPR and direction that did not always match local needs. The effectiveness of local training is evaluated, with clear need to provide more resources in terms of time for super project module leads, and more face-to-face training as opposed to global Web training from the corporation.
    Keywords: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP); installation project; training.

  • Strategy for enhancing ferry service in Ceuta Port   Order a copy of this article
    by César López-Ansorena 
    Abstract: This article presents a methodological framework for enhancing ferry service across the Gibraltar Strait. The study examines the opinion of users and then proposes an Action Plan for enhancing the quality of service. The actions are classified according to a priority index which is computed with the following attributes: Feasibility, Relevance, Economy, Legal Requirements and Demand. Then the actions are grouped according to their priority index into three levels. Two are the main findings of the study. From the customer point of view, the overall service level of the Port Authority is sufficient, while the overall service level of the ferry operators is still low. In regard to the second phase, only one third of the actions included in the Action Plan should be implemented in the short term. As a result, some policy recommendations for enhancing the quality of service are discussed.
    Keywords: ferry service; public service obligation; Gibraltar Strait; priority index; quality of service; ferry terminal.

  • E-Banking Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction: An Exploratory Study on India   Order a copy of this article
    by Shivani Sardana, V.N. Bajpai 
    Abstract: The business environment is exposed to several risks, which alter the business character. Amongst all the forces/risks impacting business, technological forces influence the most. Technological changes have revolutionized the entire business model. E-Commerce is one such technological change which has revolutionized the economy. This has been facilitated through e-banking. With benefits such as hassle-free, quick and real-time banking, internet banking still lacks far behind the number of online users in India. To ensure greater participation in online banking, banks need to understand the customers perception towards e-service quality. Customers perceive these services in the form of several quality attributes. By identifying factors critical to e-banking services, banks can appropriately devise focused programs. The study attempts to examine the determinants of e-banking service quality and their impact on customer satisfaction. The study used primary data based on a convenient sampling of two private sector banks in Delhi region to produce a 5-factor structure relevant in the Indian context. The exploratory factor analysis produces dimensions of efficiency, trust, fulfillment, responsiveness and systems critical to e-service quality satisfaction. The regression results show trust and privacy as the most critical factor influencing e-banking service quality perceptions. Further, the study provides theoretical and managerial recommendations for increasing online banking adoption and improving overall customer satisfaction. Limitations and future scope of research are further discussed.
    Keywords: Internet; Banking; India; E-Service Quality; Technology; E-banking; customer satisfaction; Risk; E-Commerce.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2020.10013467
  • Distribution of Profit in a Smart Phone Supply Chain under Isoelastic Demand   Order a copy of this article
    by Pradipta Patra 
    Abstract: This study investigates a novel supply chain (smart phone) where end consumers purchase handsets (smart phones) and service either separately (free channel) or together as a package (bundled channel). Our study considers three different power structures for the bundled channel- the handset manufacturer is the Stackelberg leader, the service operator is the Stackelberg leader and finally both the players (handset manufacturer and service provider) decide simultaneously- Vertical Nash. Previous studies have used a linear deterministic demand function to show that the supply chain player possessing superior channel power gains superior profit. We use an isoelastic deterministic demand function to point out anomalies or contradictions in already existing smart phone supply chain literature. Under isoelastic deterministic function that represents demand for smart phones we show that the supply chain player possessing superior channel power need not earn superior profits.
    Keywords: Supply Chain Management; Pricing; Service Operations; Power Structure; Game Theory.

  • Socioeconomic determinants of support and brand value perception: a survey with microfranchisees   Order a copy of this article
    by Mariangela Santiago, Andrea Lanfranchi, Pedro Melo, Julio Carneiro-da-Cunha, Renato Telles 
    Abstract: The franchising industry in Brazil has been growing for more than 10 years. In this market segment, microfranchises act as franchises whose initial investment amount is up to US$ 26,000. The purpose of this study is to verify if there is variation in the microfranchisees perceived value regarding the support provided by the franchisor and the development of the franchise chain brand due to their socioeconomic class. The variables used were training, prospecting and installation of the franchise unit, legal and financial support, and field consulting and operating manuals. In relation to the brand, the variables used were advertising and promotion, brand strength, and customer loyalty. All variables are quantitative. A total of 148 microfranchisees in S
    Keywords: Franchise Chain; Strategy; Microentrepreneurship; Socioeconomic Class; Microfranchise.

  • Identification and ranking of factors affecting customer loyalty _ Case study: Mehre-e-eghtesad bank customers   Order a copy of this article
    by Ali Nazeri, Mohsen Ebrahimi, Rahman Soofifard 
    Abstract: Today's world is full of changes. One of the most important changes in the business is changes in the values provided for buyers who are known as the main cause of the current success of the organization. Customers satisfaction is not enough for them to remain the same bank's customers and we should also ensure their loyalty in addition to the satisfaction. Therefore the aim of this study is to identify and rank factors affecting customer loyalty of Mehre-e-eghtesad bank. This research is a descriptive and correlational study. The research population is clients of all the branches of Mehre-e-eghtesad bank. The sample size was estimated 384 by Cochran method and Simple random sampling method was used. The library method and a questionnaire were used for data collection. Structural Equation Modeling includes Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Path analysis and analysis of variance and SPSS, LISREL applications were also used for analyzing the data. Conclusions confirmed that all assumptions of the research are true. It was concluded that variables including costs of switching, satisfaction, perceived quality, commitment, trust, credibility, reputation, brand, and physical facilities, quality of service, communication, advertising, e-banking, staff and price have positive impact on the customer loyalty of Mehre-e-eghtesad bank.
    Keywords: loyalty; customer; service quality; commitment; trust.

  • Sport industry service attributes, service experiences, relationship quality, and behavioral intentions   Order a copy of this article
    by Wei-San Su, Chao-Chun Hsu, Wen-Hung Lia, Lan-Fang Chang, Cheng-Hung Huang 
    Abstract: This study verified a mediating process model regarding the relationship quality between consumers and paintball venues by using relationship marketing theory. The antecedent variables of relationship quality were identified as service attribute and service quality to examine whether they exert different effects on the determinants of relationship quality differ and subsequently influences behavioral intention. A total of 750 questionnaires were issued through purposive sampling, and 685 valid questionnaires were returned. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were conducted. The results revealed that both service attribute and service experience positively affected the dimensions of relationship quality. Satisfaction exerted significant and positive effects on behavioral intention and trust positively. Commitment significantly and positively affected behavioral intention, and trust significantly and positively affected commitment. This study have provided useful information on understanding of the interrelations between relationship variables, and relevant managerial suggestions are proposed.
    Keywords: paintball; service attribute; service experience; relationship quality; behavioral intention.

  • The Impact of Knowledge Management on Firm Performance: Direct Impact vs. the Mediating Impact of Strategic Human Resource Practices: An Empirical Case Study   Order a copy of this article
    by Ali Rezaei 
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to investigate the impact of Knowledge Management (KM) on firm performance both directly and via the mediating effect of strategic human resource practices in National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) as an empirical case study. Structural equation modeling (SEM) method is used to test the hypotheses on a sample of 256 employees at the NIDC. The results indicate that KM influences firm performance both directly and via the mediating effect of strategic human resource practices including staffing, training, participation, performance appraisal, and compensation.
    Keywords: Knowledge management; Firm performance; Strategic human resource practices.

  • Identification and empirical characterization of flights arrival variation and its impact on departure punctuality   Order a copy of this article
    by Jenaro Nosedal-Sánchez, Miquel Angel Piera-Eroles, Diederik Lebbink 
    Abstract: In this paper, based on field data from two years of operations at a European Airport, empirical evidence of the influence of arrival variation on departure delay flight for short scheduled ground times (i.e., up to 60 minutes) is revisited, including three types of arrival situations, on time, early and late. For early and late arrivals, variation is measured together with the extension of the Scheduled Ground Time (i.e., Actual Ground Time), and the number of departure delay minutes recorded for the next departure (i.e., average departure delay) are considered. Based on the results obtained, in this paper it is provided a quantitative method to identify the effects of early and late arrivals on airport operations, these effects impact on gate assignment scheduling and the turnaround process, its magnitude is dependent of airports dynamic factors such demand and capacity and its operational context. For the study case presented early arrivals are shown to generate higher airport operational disturbances compared with late arrivals that allow better reaction capacity to compensate with direct effects on turnaround time process. As a result of the empirical evidence a new challenge is open to adapt present operational airport decision support tools to avoid the impact of early arrivals by designing a buffer mechanism that can be activated in a flexible, efficient and reactive context.
    Keywords: air transportation; punctuality; earliness impact; operational disturbances; delays; airports.

  • Feedback mode preference and performance improvement with a handheld scanning device   Order a copy of this article
    by Elizabeth Copeland, Reuben Burch, Lesley Strawderman, Kari Babski-Reeves, Linkan Bian, Katherine King 
    Abstract: This study was conducted to determine if combining feedback modes is beneficial for operator performance on a handheld scanning device within the services distribution industry. An industrial handheld scanner was used to examine four feedback conditions: 1) auditory, 2) auditory-visual, 3) auditory-tactile, and 4) auditory-visual-tactile. Participants completed one trial under each experimental feedback condition during one experimental session. In each trial, participants scanned 50 boxes during a simulated box scanning task. Task completion time, completion time ranks, hit rate and false alarms were recorded and analyzed. While the auditory-visual-tactile feedback combination produced the fastest task completion time, there was no significant improvement in operator performance between the four feedback settings tested. Through further understanding of the most preferred feedback modes, or combination of such, identification of improved scanner settings for this device and task can be made.
    Keywords: Feedback modalities; redundant feedback; handheld device; wand formfactor; haptic feedback; audible feedback; visual feedback; industrial scanning; service industry; distribution.

  • Modeling Patient Satisfaction in Healthcare   Order a copy of this article
    by Sanjeev Bordoloi 
    Abstract: Patient satisfaction is often a top priority within healthcare organizations. This satisfaction is measured through patient surveys and understanding patients perceptions of the services they are offered. Increasingly, patient satisfaction has been regarded as a major factor in measuring overall service quality of a healthcare firm. One area that hospitals have found challenging is their service offered over the phone. It is therefore important to observe the call centre operations within a healthcare organization to fully understand what leads to patient dissatisfaction, and thereby recommend ideas to improve patient satisfaction. The present study analyses a hospital that is facing challenges related to their phone services. The goal is to improve the overall service quality, ultimately leading to improvement in patient satisfaction. Quality tools such as Pareto Analysis and Fishbone Diagrams were used to conduct the analysis. Then, quantitative models from waiting line management were used to determine optimal staffing levels of call centre agents and triage nurses to meet quality goals as stipulated by the management, in terms of acceptable customer waiting time.
    Keywords: Patient Satisfaction; Pareto Analysis; Fishbone Diagram; Nurse Staffing.

  • Indian public distribution system in a supply chain perspective: a critical review and the way forward   Order a copy of this article
    by Ajay Bohtan, Kaliyan Mathiyazhagan, Prem Vrat 
    Abstract: In this paper, the working of a Public Distribution System (PDS) towards distribution of foodgrains with a supply chain perspective has been investigated. This literature review has been undertaken to examine the published literature available on PDS followed the world over, with a specific focus on India. The paper analyses the PDS stakeholders and its components for deficiencies and addresses the solutions for its improvement given in the available literature. The various dimensions of the PDS studied, reveals numerous gaps between the deficiencies identified in the current system and measures to overcome the same. A future research agenda towards increasing the efficiency and efficacy of the PDS supply chain management has also been brought out by this paper.
    Keywords: Foodgrains; Public Distribution System; Supply Chain; Literature Review.

  • Analytical evaluation of relation between alignment and performance in service triads Three differing contexts   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohan Gopalakrishnan, Srimathy Mohan 
    Abstract: Supply chain (SC) agility depends on organizational structure; customer satisfaction, and collaboration among SC actors. To understand these dimensions and their impact on supply chain performance, we have analyzed three triadic relationships. Examples in this research paper involve (a) hospital buyers managing high-cost supplies with outside vendors, but influenced by its physicians; (b) specialized hospital outpatient units that need to coordinate patient flow with medical staff and attending physicians; and (c) logistics service providers with assets managing its demand with external customer through an internal brokerage service. Specifically, we have analytically evaluated organizational- pressures (hierarchical versus bureaucratic), practices (scheduling, time-blocks), and structures (captive versus autonomous) and how they influence alignment between interactions in the respective triads to ultimately affect performance, namely, lower supply expenses; balancing customer satisfaction and asset utilization; and profitability.
    Keywords: Triads; alignment; professionalization; time-blocks; scheduling; simulation; autonomous; captive.

  • Gender and Worker Productivity Issues Associated with Sport Betting From an Ethical Perspective   Order a copy of this article
    by Amber A. Smith-Ditizio, Leslie Graham, David Nichols, Kerry Webb 
    Abstract: There are ethical perspectives that may be useful in examining the worker productivity dilemmas associated with sport-related office pooling activities, both face-to-face and online, especially from gender viewpoints. Using selected intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors grounded in Consequentialism, Deontology, and Virtue perspectives, an empirical study was conducted on highly educated knowledge workers in the Pittsburgh, PA area. Many male respondents felt that engaging in sport-related betting within the workplace was more acceptable than their females and tended to feel more utilitarian in their approach to justify such actions. Typically a Deontology-based ethical perspective suited males as they felt that sport-related gambling activities had a more positive impact on the emotional state of the office atmosphere and were more willing to become personally less productive and use company resources at work during sporting events.
    Keywords: case study; cyberdeviance; ethical perspectives; gender differences; sports gambling; Uses and Gratifications Theory; worker productivity.

  • Decision-making improvement in petroleum rigs: a service assessment   Order a copy of this article
    by Cláudio Benevenuto De Campos Lima, Rodrigo Nunes Ferreira, Danilo Garbazza Vieira, José Francisco Tebaldi De Castro, Gilson Brito Alves Lima, Julio Cesar De Faria Alvim Wasserman 
    Abstract: In recent years, oil companies have implemented collaborative decision-making centers for well construction (drilling centers), where several solutions are used in real time with significant impact on company operations. These applications provide necessary data for better decision-making; lowering costs by optimizing rig activity time, besides reducing travel and logistics costs. The purpose of this study is to determine perceived value and quality from a specific real-time data transmission solution. A quantitative method was applied through an online survey to test the evaluation model of the data transmission solution of an oil operator in Brazil. It was found that the main factor responsible for dissatisfaction is related to technical support. This approach can be used for other solutions and services and showed as being scalable to different scenarios in the oil industry.
    Keywords: Service Quality; Information System; Assessment; Service Diagnosis; Data Transmission; User Satisfaction.

  • Sourcing Analytics for Evaluating and Selecting Suppliers Using DEA and AHP: A Case of the Aerospace Company   Order a copy of this article
    by Seong-Jong Joo, Bradley Boehmke, Hokey Min, Ozden Bayazit 
    Abstract: Sourcing represents one of the most upstream supply chain activities which often dictates the rest of downstream supply chain activities. As such, a poor sourcing decision has a significant trickle-down effect on the effectiveness of a buying firms manufacturing and logistics decisions. Considering such significance, it is imperative for the firm to make a wise, systematic decision in evaluating and selecting suppliers. To support a critical sourcing decision, we propose a supplier evaluation decision-aid tool within the framework of business analytics which takes into account the multiple facets of supplier performance evaluation criteria. As a core of such a tool, we develop a relatively new model which is capable of considering both objective and subjective performance criteria simultaneously using a combination of data envelopment analysis (DEA) and analytic hierarchy process (AHP). To verify the practicality and validity of the proposed analytics-based tool, we applied it to an actual problem facing a U.S. aerospace company.
    Keywords: decision analysis; business analytics; supplier evaluation; aerospace procurement.

  • Towards A New Model of Work Passion   Order a copy of this article
    by Waed Ensour, Dia Zeglat, Hadeel Al-Maaitah 
    Abstract: This study aimed to investigate how work passion is conceptualized in a new setting and culture as well as to identify factors influencing work passion from the viewpoint of Arab workers. The study investigated the case of Jordanian hotel workers by conducting two focus groups with 16 participants, followed by 25 in-depth interviews. The findings indicate that passion is defined as an intense and positive feeling of the presence of `enjoyment` in doing a particular job, which illustrates an emotional aspect. Passion depends on the presence of psychological (personal attachment), and situational (extrinsic) aspects. Passionate workers are assumed to show enthusiasm, commitment, and loyalty, representing the behavioural aspect of passion. Furthermore, passion is conceived as an advanced state but not detached from job involvement, engagement, and organizational commitment, meaning these can be engendered by the effect of passion. Although the Jordanian hotel employees were found to be not very different in terms of their conceptualizing of work passion, this study presents new factors that are assumed to affect passion. Finally, contrary to what is proposed in the literature, passion was perceived only as a positive state and distinct from workaholism.
    Keywords: work passion; job involvement; job engagement; organizational commitment; hotels; Jordan.

  • Supply chain risk management and the role of project managers: a Comparative analysis of U.S. and Japanese firms   Order a copy of this article
    by Takashi Shimizu, Kihyun Park, Youngwon Park, Mark Haney 
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyze and compare risk management practices of Japanese and U.S. firms. This paper investigates the patterns of product risk management utilized by U.S. and Japanese companies and discusses possible causes of their differences and how the differences affect behavior of the companies. Key findings include 1) U.S. companies have relatively weak risk management systems compared to Japanese companies, 2) U.S. companies using both project managers and quality management department are proactive in risk management, and 3) those companies using only project managers are reluctant to expand or renew their risk management systems.
    Keywords: Supply Chain Risk Management; Product Risk; Project Management; Quality Management.

  • Inventory model optimization for a closed-loop retailer-manufacturer-supplier system with imperfect production, reworks and quality dependent return rate   Order a copy of this article
    by Anindya Rachma Dwicahyani, Eva Kholisoh, Cucuk Nur Rosyidi, Pringgo Widyo Laksono, Wakhid Ahmad Jauhari 
    Abstract: This study investigates a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) inventory model consisting of a retailer, a manufacturer and a supplier. Here, the return rate is considered to be a variable which depends upon the acceptance quality level of the returned items. The manufacturer performs manufacturing and remanufacturing processes to satisfy the retailers demand. The manufacturing process is assumed to be imperfect and produces some defective items. All defective items are then reworked via reworking process. Two recovery processes are considered in the model, which are remanufacturing and refurbishing. The recoverable items which cannot be perfectly recovered will be categorized as refurbishable items and then sold to the secondary market at a reduced price. A solution methodology is provided to find the optimal solutions of the model. A numerical example and sensitivity analysis are performed to show the application of the model and to understand the effects of the changes in key parameters on the models behavior, respectively.
    Keywords: remanufacturing; closed-loop supply chain; recovery; inventory; inventory model; refurbishing; imperfect production.

  • Hidden structure and value network: Shedding light on position assessment   Order a copy of this article
    by Elina Karttunen, Mika Immonen, Mikko Pynnönen, Jouni Koivuniemi 
    Abstract: This study focuses on hierarchical structures of value networks of service systems. But how can the central and influential network positions be found in the value network? The position of actors is extracted using the hidden structure method (HSM) and centrality metrics of social network analysis (SNA). Both analyses apply adjacency matrix data that reveal direct dependencies of actors in a value network. We measured indegree, outdegree, betweenness, and closeness centralities to each actor to compare SNA and HSM results. HSM can reveal the actors who conduct the most significant activities, as well as more peripheral actors who have a strong influence on core actors. Thus, HSM does not neglect the hierarchy between actors. Our methodological contribution suggests that in parallel with widely used SNA centrality measures, researchers should leverage HSM to define influential actors. Two pharmacy concepts in Finland provide the empirical research context.
    Keywords: value network; network structure; network position; actor; role; hidden structure method; social network analysis; pharmaceutical network; centrality; adjacency matrix.

  • Implementing Lean Paradigm in an Indian Foundry Facility: A Case Study   Order a copy of this article
    by Sanjiv Kumar Tiwari, Ritesh Kumar Singh, Sharad Chandra Srivastava 
    Abstract: This article seeks to establish the effectiveness of lean manufacturing in eliminating the hidden wastes, maintaining better inventory control and reducing the total production time. A large Indian foundry facility is utilized to illustrate the adopted approach. Firstly, current state mapping is prepared to have the knowledge of the existing procedure followed in the production of castings. In addition, relevant data such as, cycle time, changeover time, percentage of defects, percentage downtime and inventory in between the processes are collected for each process. Further, the future state map is created, after amending the entire process, by adopting the methodology proposed by Rother and Shook (1999). Additionally, the required buffer size (number of Kanbans) at each stage and the sequence of production are also estimated by adopting the method advocated by the Lean Enterprise Institute (2004). Finally, improvement is accounted in terms of reduced lead time of the process.
    Keywords: Lean manufacturing; value stream mapping (VSM); Kanban; supermarket; pull system.

  • Behavioral operations management identification of its research program   Order a copy of this article
    by Jure Erjavec, Peter Trkman 
    Abstract: The rise in popularity of the behavioral operations management field has resulted in several attempts to clearly establish this multidisciplinary field. Given the divergent views of what the field actually includes, this paper attempts to contribute to an ongoing debate about the current state of the field as a research field and its future development. The paper uses Lakatos view that suggests that instead of individual theories, scientific progress should be viewed in the context of research programs, which consist of the hard core and the protective belt. To identify subfields, the paper combines the literature review with a co-citation network analysis of the behavioral operations management field between 1957 and 2015. Six clusters are identified. The Domain base cluster represents the hard core of the field, while five other clusters (Newsvendor, Bullwhip and inventory optimization, Social goals, Supplier relationship, and Organizational behavior) represent its protective belt. In addition to the exploration of existing clusters, the analysis in the paper offers an excellent starting point to identify and position further research questions. A study like this is easily replicable and enables following the evolution of the field.
    Keywords: behavioral operations management; research program; network analysis; co-citation analysis; cluster analysis.

  • Optimizing emergency medical centers location with a response-time-decreasing approach using hybrid methods of optimization and simulation   Order a copy of this article
    by Ahmad Kamali, Seyed Mojtaba Sajadi, Fariborz Jolai 
    Abstract: Decision making about the emergency medical centers location is a complicated problem which managers of health care systems are confronted to. In order to respond to requests as fast as possible, the emergency medical centers should be planed in the best condition. There are some cases that affect on emergency medical service operation, like calls distribution, traffic condition and operative costs. The paper combines the optimization techniques with simulation in locating the emergency medical centers in order to decrease the operative costs and also increase the quality of medical emergency services. The method first, locates the centers using optimization techniques, and then having assigned the ambulances to the centers, it analyzes different scenarios of locating the centers and assigning the ambulances to them in a dynamic method using computer simulation. The proposed method of emergency centers location and ambulance-assignments was implemented in Isfahan (Iran) as a case study and resulted in lower response time. The comparison of results with real situations shows the efficiency of this method.
    Keywords: Medical Emergency Services; Location; Simulation.

    Abstract: The IT industry, in Coimbatore is growing at a considerably good rate. The construction of the IT techno parks, development in infrastructure and availability of the right talent pool from the premier colleges in Coimbatore present a promising future for Coimbatore to become the next IT destination in India, beating Chennai IT industry that offers attractive salaries and perks of different kind to the employees. The talented employees always seek the best prospectus for career growth and compensation and they have wide opportunities available in the vast industry. Retaining the right talent plays a crucial role in the success of the organization. This study examines the perception of the IT employees of the Tidel Park in Coimbatore towards the retention strategies followed in their companies. Salary package, Retention bonus, onsite opportunities, promotion are found to be some of the significant retention factors.
    Keywords: IT industry; Employee perception; Retention strategy; Coimbatore;.

  • Critical Success Factors Concerning the Management of Industrial Services   Order a copy of this article
    by Isabelle Confort Machado, Rosley Anholon, Osvaldo Luiz Goncalves Quelhas, Olivio Novaski, Jefferson Souza Pinto 
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to develop a literature review to present the critical success factors (CSF) for industrial service management and, based on the CSF found, to conduct a case study in a Brazilian company to validate the data obtained. The methodology used was a literature review about the theme industrial service and the case study was supported by semi-structured interviews. The results showed that twelve of the thirteen CSF found in the literature review are completely executed by the company studied, while one is partially applicable. The value of this paper lies in the fact that there is a low number of publications about the subject, especially in South America, highlighting the originality of the study proposed.
    Keywords: industrial service management; services; service operation management; service industry; critical success factors; industrial service; service sector.

  • Game theoretical approach to price a product under two-echelon supply chain containing e-tail selling channel   Order a copy of this article
    by Hamed Jafari, Seyed Reza Hejazi, Morteza Rasti-Barzoki 
    Abstract: In this study, pricing decisions are investigated on a dual-channel supply chain including one manufacturer and multiple retailers. The manufacturer sells a product through the Internet and through the retail channel, simultaneously. It is assumed that the market is controlled by the manufacturer. Thus, the manufacturer becomes leader and the retailers perform as followers. In this setting, the Bertrand and Collusion game-theoretic models are developed to analyze the pricing strategies among the retailers. Then, the equilibrium decisions are compared and some managerial insights are presented. It is found that the manufacturers profit and the profit of the whole system given by the Bertrand game are higher than by the Collusion, while this inference is reversed for the retailers profits. Moreover, larger the number of the retailers in the retail channel leads to lower retailers profits, whereas the manufacturers profit and the profit of the whole system increase.
    Keywords: Supply chain management; Dual-channel; E-Commerce; Pricing; Game theory; Bertrand; Collusion; E-tail channel; Retail channel; Competition.

  • Service Operations In Public Sector Agencies: Evidence From NCDMV   Order a copy of this article
    by James B. Martin, Joyendu Bhadury, Kwasi Amoako-Gyampah, Steve Bert, Eugene Murray 
    Abstract: This paper studies customer service in public agencies within the context of vehicle titling and registration services in North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV). Over 17,000 observations were recorded from the operations of 27 offices in North Carolina and analysis performed on the same to delineate operational factors that impact service quality. Primary findings include: salient determinants of customer service and waiting times; benefits of process standardization/automation; evidence that privately-operated offices with permanent contracts or those that are state owned and operated provide worse service than those operated by private contractors with time-limited contracts and; evidence that incomplete transactions represent a significant customer service problem. The study also provides evidence of the consistency of NCDMVs compensation rates, a surprising result given that these rates were not set by the legislature after adequate data-based analyses. Theoretical implications of the findings are discussed along with the legislative impact of this study.
    Keywords: Service Operations; DMV; Service Time; Waiting Time; Public Sector Management.

  • Socio-Demographic Characteristics and the Level of Importance That Consumers Attach to Services Offered in the Passenger Airline Industry   Order a copy of this article
    by Philemon Oyewole 
    Abstract: As international competition in the airline industry intensifies, how airline companies structure the design of their service offerings to meet the real needs of their customers becomes crucial to survival. This paper examines the level of importance attributed by consumers to different elementary services customarily provided by companies in the passenger airline industry. It determines if, and to what extent, this is influenced by consumers socio-demographic characteristics of education, occupation, income, age, gender, and marital status. A total of 20 elementary services often offered by companies in the international passenger airline industry were examined. Findings of the empirical research that was carried out revealed that, while occupation, education, and marital status had no apparent influence; age, gender, and income tend to exert significant influence on the level of importance that consumers attach to services offered in the passenger airline industry. Managerial implications of this result are discussed, and directions for future research are suggested.
    Keywords: Services marketing; Service offering; Airline industry; Importance; Demographics; Transportation.

    by Ferdous Sarwar, Mohammad Noman H Chowdhury, Syed Helal Uddin 
    Abstract: Facilities planning is a critical issue in todays competitive manufacturing and service sectors. With rapidly increasing global competition, elimination of waste and continuous improvement of productivity is vital that greatly depends on how people plan, organize and utilize the facilities in an organization. In facility layout problems, objective functions are modeled with different objectives that include minimization of cost or flow of materials, maximizations of closeness rewards etc. This paper proposes a mathematical model with a continuous representation of distance based adjacency matrix. The resulting exact model will consider every all-rectangular-department solutions. A nature-inspired firefly algorithm is applied to find out the solution of the model.
    Keywords: Facility layout; Firefly algorithm; Multi-objective Optimization.

    by Hemapriya Selvaraj, R. Uthayakumar 
    Abstract: This paper deals with continuous review inventory policy under permissible delay in paymentsrnwith investment for quality improvement and ordering cost reduction. The supplier offers a creditrnperiod that is less than the average duration of the inventory model. The lead time of receivingrnproducts from the vendor to a buyer is a variable which is controllable by adding extra crashing cost. A mathematical model is derived to investigate the effects of ordering cost reduction,rnpermissible delay in payments and investment for quality improvement and it can be achievedrnby optimizing the order quantity, lead time and total number of deliveries in one production runrnsimultaneously with the objective of minimizing joint expected total cost (JET C). Furthermore,rnthe sensitivity analysis is included and the numerical examples are given to illustrate the results.rnFinally, graphical representation is presented to illustrate the model.
    Keywords: Integrated inventory model; Permissible delay in payments; Exponential crashing cost; Investment for quality improvements; Ordering cost reduction.

  • Operational Capabilities, Performance and Strategic Alignment in Brazilian Micro and Small Enterprises   Order a copy of this article
    by Fernando Viana, Roger Luna 
    Abstract: Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) have contributed significantly to economic development in many countries, but they have many challenges. The aim of this study is to identify and evaluate the most important capabilities for the operations strategies used by MSEs in Brazil, to determine whether the degree of importance given to each capability influences the performance of the same, and to ascertain whether companies have strategic alignment. In methodological terms, this is an exploratory and explanatory quantitative study. Questionnaires were distributed to a sample of 1,250 MSEs, and we used multinomial logistic regression for the data analysis. These MSEs consider reliability the most important operational capability. A positive relationship was observed between the importance given to a capability by the firm and the probability of achieving superior performance in this capability relative to its competitors. Moreover, most of the researched firms presented strategic alignment.
    Keywords: Operational Capabilities; Performance; Strategic Alignment; Micro and Small Enterprises.

  • Explore and evaluate organizational culture aspects that affecting Lean implementation within manufacturing SMEs: the case of Saudi Arabia   Order a copy of this article
    by ABDULLAH ALKHORAIF, Patrick McLaughlin 
    Abstract: There is a scarcity of research about cultural aspects and organizational culture related to Lean Implementation (LI) (Pakdil and Leonard 2015). In order to addressing the need for Organizational Culture (OC) to better facilitate Lean and propel its success among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Saudi Arabia as a case, requires a methodology which supports the research and analysis of OC. Grounded theory, action research and an inductive approach has been selected. Due to the nature of the topic requiring the exploration of culture, it is beneficial to utilise qualitative research which is provided by grounded theory that has been adopted. Thus, adhering to the grounded theory process utilising an issue focused approach, (Sackmann, 1991). Semi-structured interviews, observations and focus-groups were chosen to conduct this exploratory study. 37 aspects have been identified from semi-structured interviews. All these aspects have been aggregated through focus groups to 7 main themes.
    Keywords: Lean Implementation (LI); Organizational Culture (OC); Enablers; Inhibitors; Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs); Continues improvement (CI); King of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

  • Lean Management in Hospitality: Methods, Applications and Future Directions   Order a copy of this article
    by Erwin Rauch, Dominik T. Matt, Christian Linder 
    Abstract: The hospitality industry is under constant pressure to optimise internal processes, while at the same time extending services to the customer. The purpose of this study is to outline the potential of Lean Management as a successful approach to increase efficiency and productivity in operational processes in the hospitality industry. We demonstrate that the proven potential of Lean methods in fields like manufacturing can be successfully transferred to the needs of the hospitality industry. As a result, the research shows a selection of Lean methods which are particularly suitable for application in the hotel sector. This study is based on a real case study in order to test the practical application of Lean methods in hospitality. Our research contributes to process optimization in hospitality and can be directly implemented by practitioners. Further it provides future directions in the transformation of Lean methods through digitisation.
    Keywords: lean management; lean hospitality; lean hotel; digitisation; industry 4.0; smart hospitality; service industry; hospitality industry.

  • The effect of scenario planning on nonfinancial performance in Malaysia Hotel Industry   Order a copy of this article
    by Joshua Teck Khun Loo, Rajendran Muthuvelo 
    Abstract: This study examines the effects of scenario planning on non-financial performance of business organizations in the hospitality industry. This has the capacity to promote the understanding of regional and global tourism environment through additional alternative methods. Several studies on organizational performance have deployed the conventional planning and strategies to determine the best alternative that could accelerate business performance and sustain its environment. In order to determine the cause and effect relationship between the two variables, the study applies the VB-SEM using Smart-PLS to 82 samples. Evidence from the study reveals that scenario planning has a direct positive effect on non-financial performance of business organizations in the hospitality industry. Thus, the study emphasizes that scenario planning is fundamental and practical strategic tools that could be deployed to accelerate non-financial performance.
    Keywords: Scenario Planning; Macro Scenario; Industry Scenario; Micro Scenario; Non-Financial Performance.

  • Models of Satisfaction Antecendents: a brief review   Order a copy of this article
    by Fernando Macieira, Tiago Oliveira, Mitsuru Yanaze 
    Abstract: This article is an integrative review on satisfaction models. Its main purpose is to bring back the discussion on consumer satisfaction and loyalty topics that are currently not receiving adequate attention by service management researchers. As a field grows, integrative review addresses the need to aggregate, critique and re-conceptualize the knowledge, as it continues to develop, this being particularly appropriate when contradictory evidence appears (Torraco 2005). Nevertheless, this article summarizes comments and integrates the most important models and theories concerning consumer satisfaction models, and adds suggestions for future research.
    Keywords: service quality; satisfaction models; satisfaction antecedents; integrative review; loyalty; service management; servqual; rsq; service quality model; quality dimensions;.

  • Nature of effects of Dynamics of Team control on Project Team Effectiveness in Construction Project Delivery   Order a copy of this article
    by Titus Ebenezer KWOFIE, Clinton Aigbavboa, Ellence Molobela 
    Abstract: Abstract: Plethora of research have indicated that, teamwork and team control have become typical and important part of task performance in construction project delivery. Thus ensuring optimum task performance in construction project delivery is perceived to be influenced by the level of project team effectiveness and team control. However, little is known about the influence of the dynamics of team control on the effectiveness of construction project teams in task and project team performance. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of the dynamics (modes) of team control on the level of team effectiveness in construction project delivery. Through a deductive research approach, a partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) was used on data collected through questionnaire survey conducted in South Africa. The results revealed that Formal Control (FC) and Informal Control (IC) account for about 65% (0.648) and 30% (0.304) respectively of the total 71.0% variance in the level of team effectiveness in project delivery. This suggests that formal control in project teams makes substantial effects to the level of team effectiveness in project delivery whereas in the case of informal control, it effects could be interpreted as being moderate at the 0.05 significance level. From these findings, it can be considered extremely significant for project teams to enhance and legitimize their formal and informal controls in project delivery towards improving the effectiveness of the team in task and team performance.
    Keywords: team control; team effectiveness; project delivery; teamwork.

  • Service Facilities and Hotel Performance: Empirical Evidence from Hotel-Level Data in Thailand   Order a copy of this article
    by Jordi Meya Domínguez, Piriya Pholphirul 
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of service facilities on performance within the hotel industry. Its unique contribution is the use of national-representative secondary data on the hospitality industry in Thailand, as a case of a major tourist destination country. Covering 2,627 hotel observations, our estimated regression indicates that service facilities affect native (Thai) guests and foreign (non-Thai) guests differently, which can lead to different strategic actions for each group. Among all kinds of service facilities, providing Internet service seems to be the greatest contribution to hotel performance. Therefore, in terms of managerial implications, hotel managers should make providing a sound Internet connection a priority in order to ensure the successful short-term and long-term performance and development of their business. As for social implications, especially among small and medium-sized hotels, improving hotel performance by upgrading service facilities is another important tool in promoting tourism as a poverty reduction strategy.
    Keywords: Hotel Performance; Service Facilities; Thailand; Tourist Demand.

  • A Study on the Impact of Backorder Sales on an Integrated Supply Chain   Order a copy of this article
    by Ratna Kumar K, Radha Ramanan, Sridharan R 
    Abstract: The integrated procurement, production and distribution planning (IPPDP) problem consists of multiple suppliers who supply raw materials to multiple plants to produce a single product to meet the demand in multiple time horizons. The present research focuses on the analysis of the effect of backorders on the IPPDP problem in a three-echelon supply chain that consists of suppliers, manufacturers and retailers. The IPPDP problem is formulated as a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) model and the optimal solution is obtained with the solver LINGO. The total net profit obtained for the scenario involving lost sales is compared with that for the scenario which involves lost sales and backordering. For a set of problem instances, an increase of 10.29% in the average total net profit and 4.80% in the average fill rate is obtained for the lost sales and backordering scenario compared to the lost-sales-only scenario.
    Keywords: Integrated procurement; production and distribution; backordering; lost sales.

  • Investigating the role of moderating the quality of working life on the relationship between Psychological capital and organizational citizenship behavior   Order a copy of this article
    by Seyed Hasan Hosseini, Ammar Arabi Jeshvaghani, Alireza Akbarzadeh, Mohsen Habibi 
    Abstract: Present research examines the relationship between Psychological capital and organizational citizenship behavior, with mediation of quality of working life. The research statistical population included the staff and faculty members of Azad University in Isfahan. Required data were collected based on research model and through distributed questionnaire among staff and faculty members and for investigating the relationship among variables and testing hypotheses, multi-variable regression and structural equations (path analysis) have been used. Validity of the questionnaires was examined and verified consulting the university professors and experts, and the questionnaires reliability was determined by calculating their Cronbachs alpha, that, indicating adequate reliability of them. The results have presented that in confident level of 95 percent, there is a significant and positive relationship between psychological capital and the quality of working life as well as psychological capital and with organizational citizenship behavior. The variable of working life quality has also significant and positive relationship with organizational citizenship behavior. The other finding of research was the significant effect of mediating variable of working life quality according to relationship between psychological capital and organizational citizenship behavior.
    Keywords: psychological capital; working life quality and organizational citizenship behavior.

  • Recycle versus Buy Scenarios in Manufacturing Strategy Decisions: An Empirical Study   Order a copy of this article
    by Shellyanne Wilson 
    Abstract: This paper examines the Recycle versus Buy decision-making process, which is becoming a critical decision area for companies operating in the plastics, paper, rubber and metal industries. Via the use of scenario analysis, applied in an in-depth case study that uses plastic buckets for packaging, decision alternatives and uncertainties are considered. The scenario analysis produced nested scenario logics, comprising four bases: Volume of Used-Material Collected; Cost of Used-Material Collection; Cost of Virgin Material; and Performance of New Product Made with High / Low Ratio of Virgin Material to Recycled Material, resulting in 16 possible scenario combinations. For each combination, market, technical and financial feasibility are examined. For each scenario, a single decision alternative was selected from these four possible decision alternatives: Full Backward Integration, Taper Integration, Partial Integration and No Integration
    Keywords: manufacturing strategy; decision making; Recycle versus Buy; scenario analysis.

  • Inter-organisational learning in the context of third party logistics services   Order a copy of this article
    by Hokey Min, Soonhong Min, Haozhe Chen 
    Abstract: In this era of knowledge economy, knowledge can be a differentiator for the firm's business success. In this regard, the third-party logistics provider (3PL) is no exception in that it plays a critical role in funnelling information flows across firms in a supply chain as a logistics integrator. These information flows facilitate inter-organisational learning between the 3PL and its client firm. Organisational learning, however, may vary from operational to strategic decision-making hierarchy, which leads to either competitive parity or competitive advantage, respectively. Taking a dyadic perspective, this paper provides a conceptual framework theorising inter-organisational learning potential between a 3PL and its client firms. Within this framework, it posits that a firm's orientations toward logistics outsourcing and organisational learning together influence its business performance and competitiveness. This paper also develops a series of propositions regarding inter-organisational learning between the 3PL and its multiple client firms that can be a basis for future empirical studies and theory building. Based on these propositions, we may argue that an effective learning strategy of the 3PLs - in a proper combination of the firm's relationship orientation and learning orientation - is a key to the success of logistics outsourcing.
    Keywords: third-party logistics; 3PL; organisational learning; knowledge transfer.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2018.10013777
  • Quality management system and sustainability: a Malaysian perspective   Order a copy of this article
    by Amjad Khalili, Md Yusof Ismail, A.N.M. Karim 
    Abstract: Recently numerous studies have examined the interrelationships among quality management system (QMS) and sustainable performance (SP) of organisations, but none of the approaches addressed the issues in a holistic manner. Moreover, there is a very little empirical evidence concerning sustainability initiatives and how the QMS affects SP. This paper aims at investigating the linkage among QMS and SP of manufacturing sector of Malaysia applying techniques from SPSS and structural equation modelling (SEM). The developed model is examined in 329 industries in two phases. The first phase includes semi-structured interviews with Malaysian managers to examine the model's applicability. While in the second phase structured questionnaire is designed for gathering quantitative data. From the interviews with 12 managers, it implies that practices by local manufacturers are consistent with the developed model. Subsequently, the PCA and CFA were conducted to validate the hypothesis which reveals that SP is not affected by QMS.
    Keywords: quality management system; QMS; sustainability; manufacturing; interview; questionnaire; Malaysia.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2018.10013778
  • An assessment of green supply chain framework in Indian automobile industry using interpretive structural modelling and its validation using MICMAC analysis   Order a copy of this article
    by Sadia Samar Ali, Rajbir Kaur, Alejandro Builes Jaramillo 
    Abstract: The goal of delivering a green product starts with green procurement and then continue further with green logistics, green process and green manufacturing specially in a strong supply chain like that in an automobile organization. The purpose of this paper is to identify the green supply chain management enablers (GSCMEs) for Indian automobile industry and establish relationships among them using interpretive structural modelling (ISM) and find out driving and dependence power of enablers, using Matriced' Impacts Croisés Multiplication Appliquée á un Classement (MICMAC) analysis. A survey method is used to get the primary data for this research from fifteen automobile organisations in the Pune-Nashik area. Although currently the research has been conducted only in one industrial region but in future this study can be replicated to other Indian regions as well. The study identifies environmental regulations along with relationship with suppliers as main enablers for a better green supply chain.
    Keywords: green supply chain; Indian auto mobile industry; interpretive structural modelling; ISM; Matriced' Impacts Croisés Multiplication Appliquée á un Classement; MICMAC.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2018.10013474
  • Lean manufacturing concepts in wet grinder assembly line through value state mapping   Order a copy of this article
    by K. Sivananda Devi, V.P. Arunachalam, N. Gunasekaran 
    Abstract: The current focus of modern manufacturing is to convert the raw material to the finished goods with zero wastage and at least-cost. Lean manufacturing approach is considered as a successful strategy that minimises the non-value added activities (waste). Value stream mapping (VSM) is one of the tools in lean manufacturing to understand the value added and non-value added activities in the entire system. Such approach has not been explicitly practiced in wet grinder manufacturing system. An attempt has been made in this paper to systematically evaluate current state mapping (CSM) and implement future state mapping (FSM) in a wet grinder manufacturing system. CSM describes the present VSM and other activities that influence it. CSM has been developed by careful observation of cycle time, change over time and non-value added activities. The objective of this study is to minimise the non-value added activities and achieve the required TAKT time. The FSM is arrived by incorporating various improvements in the assembly line.
    Keywords: lean manufacturing; value stream mapping; value added activities; non value added activities; current state mapping; wet grinder assembly line; TAKT time; cycle time; change over time; material storage; Kanban pull system; sustainability.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2018.10013779
  • Pregnant women's perception towards the prescription given by the doctors   Order a copy of this article
    by Arumugam Vasumathi 
    Abstract: Pregnant women faces some common discomforts during pregnancy such as morning sickness, backache, bladder and bowel problems, changes in skin and hair, cramps, swelling, varicose veins, fatigues, headache and indigestion, etc. For these discomforts, some pregnant women would get advises from doctors and others will get medicines from medical shops without doctor prescription. This would lead to many side effects for pregnant women, some may face abortion too. Therefore, the researcher was conducted study on the pregnant women's perception towards the prescription given by doctors. The researcher has collected data from 100 pregnant women in Vellore District by distributing well-structured questionnaire. The researcher found that there is a significant association between number of dependents and pregnant women's frequency to visit the clinic. Age and number of dependents are the important independent variable in predicting the pregnant women's perception towards doctor's suggestion and prescription of medicines.
    Keywords: pregnant women; comfort; side effects; suggestion and prescription.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2018.10013780
  • The impact of demographic profile on SHRM strategies of middle-level HR managers in IT firm, India   Order a copy of this article
    by Arumugam Vasumathi, Palaniappan Saravanan 
    Abstract: Human resource management (HRM) functions play a vital role for employees work in an organisation with more commitment. Committed employees will work in any organisational culture. Organisational culture is the important function of strategic human resource management and its practices will help in organisation growth, employees performance, productivity, generating the leadership skills, abilities, motivate, retain the talented workforce, forecasting the new and available talents for future business needs; enabling the change and developing the attitude and knowledge towards the job. In the competitive scenario, all IT firms were shifted focus from administrative functions to business driven HR functions. HR mangers play an important role in IT industry and who acts as a business partner in terms of enabling the business functions, change enabler, employees champion, decision maker and continuous learner which result in enabling the future business needs for the company. The researchers have conducted a study for the sample size of 75 middle level HR managers from an Indian IT company. This study found that that the female employees were more engaged and satisfied with reference to the employee engagement activities organised by the organisation than the counterparts.
    Keywords: strategic human resource management; organisational culture; business driven HR; change enable; employees champion and learning specialist; India.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2018.10013781

Special Issue on: 9th IEEE-GCC Economics and Business Engineering

  • Do IT Integration and Decision-Making Integration Influence Service Operation Performance? Empirical Evidence from Electrical & Electronics Distribution Firms   Order a copy of this article
    by Cheng Ling Tan, Wei Lip Tan, Sook Fern Yeo 
    Abstract: This study aims to investigate the relationships between IT integration, decision-making integration, and service operation performance among the electrical and electronic (E&E) distribution firms located in ASEAN. Based on this premise, a model linking IT integration, decision-making integration, and service operation performance are tested. A self-administered questionnaire was employed for data collection. A total of 83 respondents were taking part in this study. Smart Partial Least Square (PLS) and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) packages were utilized to analyze the data. The analysis results revealed that IT planning and business process integration has a significant relationship with service operation performance. The implication of this study enables the E&E distribution firms in ASEAN to better understand the relationship between IT integration, decision-making integration, and service operation performance.
    Keywords: IT Integration; decision-making integration; service operation performance; electrical and electronic; communication; planning; flexibility; modularity; business process integration; and cross-functional team.

  • Green Supply Chain Performance Evaluation Model for Automotive Manufacturing Industries by Using Eco Balanced Scorecard   Order a copy of this article
    by S. Amaladhasan, Parthiban Palanisamy, R. Dhanalakshmi 
    Abstract: Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) has emerged as an effective management tool and philosophy for proactive and leading manufacturing organizations. This study uses a set of initial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for green supply chain evaluation and believed to be appropriate for automotive companies using Eco Balanced Scorecard (EBSC). Balanced scorecard consists of four perspectives such as financial, customer, learning, and growth and internal business process, here fifth perspective as an environment is included. Drawing on the five perspectives of an EBSC, this paper first summarized the evaluation indexes synthesized from the literature relating to green supply chain performance. Furthermore, the relative weights of the chosen evaluation indexes were calculated from Fuzzy-Analytic Hierarchy Process (F-AHP). And, further, the two Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) analytical tools of Fuzzy-VIKOR and Gray Relational Analysis (GRA) were respectively adopted to rank the green supply chain performance and improve the gaps with five industries as an empirical example. Finally, a sensitivity analysis is performed to determine the influence of criteria weights and other factors in the decision-making process. The analysis results highlight the critical aspects of evaluation criteria as well as the gaps to improve green supply chain performance for achieving aspired/desired level. It shows that the proposed Fuzzy-MCDM evaluation model of green supply chain performance using the EBSC framework can be a useful and effective assessment tool.
    Keywords: Green Supply Chain Management; Key performance indicators; Eco Balanced Scorecard; Fuzzy-VIKOR; Gray Relational Analysis.

  • An Efficient supplier selection Model for Hospital Pharmacy through Fuzzy AHP and Fuzzy TOPSIS   Order a copy of this article
    by Manivel Palanisamy, Rajesh Ranganathan 
    Abstract: This article investigates the significance of supplier selection in hospital pharmacy. In recent global scenario, the selection of supplier for the pharmacy is a crucial role to prompt service level as well as total value cost. Normally, high quality services, inventory and customer satisfaction is influenced mostly by the supplier selection process variable. The supplier selection normally depends on many criteria such as cost, delivery of the product, service, flexibility with the consumer, etc. The uncertainty during supplier selection could be handled by Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) techniques. A methodology is developed to analyze the qualitative and quantitative variables involved in the supplier selection process and it is illustrated with the case study of a hospital pharmacy. This paper analyze the alternatives, criteria and sub criteria of the supplier selection process by multi criteria decision making approach of Fuzzy Analytic Heuristic Process (FAHP) and Fuzzy Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (FTOPSIS) methods. Based on discussion with the pharmacy manager, five criteria were chosen and analyzed. The decision makers determined the weights of the criteria and sub-criteria and evaluate the alternatives and ranks them by FAHP and FTOPSIS method. Finally compare the results obtained by FAHP and FTOPSIS methods and select the appropriate supplier which helps to improve the overall efficiency of the pharmacy.
    Keywords: Supplier selection; Fuzzy AHP; Fuzzy TOPSIS; MCDM techniques; Hospital pharmacy; Inventory.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2019.10011263
  • A multi-objective genetic algorithm to solve a single machine scheduling problem with setup-times   Order a copy of this article
    by Youssef Harrath, Amine Mahjoub, Jihene Kaabi 
    Abstract: The objective of this research is to study the one machine scheduling problem with setup-times. Two objectives were considered; the completion time and the total weighted tardiness. Only the static version of the problem was treated. The problem is NP-hard and not approximable. We proposed a multiobjective genetic algorithm with new crossover operators to solve the problem. To validate the algorithm, we conducted an intensive experimental study, which showed that the new operators allowed the genetic algorithm to generate Pareto optimal solutions close to many developed lower bounds.
    Keywords: scheduling; completion time; total weighted tardiness; genetic algorithm; multiobjective optimization.

  • Business Process Reengineering Impact on SMEs Operations: Evidences from GCC Region   Order a copy of this article
    by Waleed A. Aziz 
    Abstract: Pioneered in the 1990s, business process reengineering (BPR) is focused on value addition. The theory and practice of business reengineering have evolved over the years with globalization and technology becoming key parts of business. Despite these changes, BPR implementation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has received limited attention. Given that SMEs play an important role in the economic growth of different regions, the investigation of BPR implementation in these businesses is as important as their role in large organizations. The objective of this paper is to examine the impact of BPR in SMEs. The paper also determines the key components of successful business process reengineering in SMEs. rnThe study found out that the basic components of BPR can remain constant when implementing them in SMEs. However, managers should ensure that they integrate SME-specific issues in their BPR decision making. Through examining existing literature and practices, the paper identified the existing gaps in SME implementation of BPR. The paper also proposes approaches to addressing these constraints. Cost, resistance, communication, and poor design are identified as the constraints for successful implantation of BPR in SMEs. The developed framework identifies organizational culture, organizational knowledge, resources, and technology as the key factors in successfully managing BPR. The paper also identifies continuous improvement as an additional step in the management of BPR in SMEs.
    Keywords: SMEs; Business Reengineering; GCC; Business Operations.

  • An Empirical Study of the Performance of Canadian-Owned Chains of Retail Stores   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohamed Dia, Pawoumodom Matthias Takouda 
    Abstract: The performance of a sample of public Canadian-owned chains of retail stores is assessed using Data Envelopment Analysis over the 15 years spanning the period from 2000 to 2014. Our analysis shows that the chains of food and beverage retail stores presented the best practices. In addition, we found that the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on the performance of the chains of retail stores was statistically significant only for the scale efficiencies. A similar result was found while investigating differences in efficiency between the firms that had international operations and the ones that focused only on the domestic market.
    Keywords: Performance measurement; Data Envelopment Analysis; Efficiency; Retail Industry; Canada.

  • A hyper-heuristic framework for solving the delivery problem with time windows   Order a copy of this article
    by Hiba Yahyaoui, Saoussen Krichen, Abdelkader Dekdouk 
    Abstract: We address in this paper a delivery process with time requirements in the supply chain stated as follows: orders launched from customers are centralized and assigned to firms' depots for the delivery process. The consideration of a depot and a set of customers belonging to different firms, is seen as a VRPTW that serves $n$ customers using a subset of vehicles. We implement in this paper a DSS that handles the delivering activity in the supply chain. The DSS embeds a GRASP and Genetic components for generating promising solution in a concurrently run time. In addition we proposed a $VNSH$-based hyper-heuristic that tries to select the most accurate neighborhood at each iteration to apply according to its previous performance. Simulation results are conducted on Solomon's benchmarks. The DSS recorded very competitive results regarding state-of-the-art approaches.
    Keywords: Hybrid Genetic Algorithm; Variable Neighborhood Search; VRPTW; hyper-heuristic.